UC Berkeley Web Feature
Gill Tract fire is under investigation
BERKELEY – A fire early Monday morning destroyed a building on UC Berkeley's Gill Tract, next to the University Village student-family housing complex in Albany. No one was injured in the blaze, but the burned building used by Campus Recycling and Refuse Services "is a total loss," according to campus fire marshal Tony Yuen.
The cause of the fire in Building 11, which broke out about 3 a.m. and took several hours to extinguish, is under investigation by arson experts, Yuen said. The Gill Tract is located at the southwest corner of San Pablo and Marin avenues in Albany.
Building 11 was used by the recycling service as office space. The service's five packer trucks, which pick up refuse on the central campus, were parked outside when the fire erupted.
Although the campus trucks were not damaged by the fire, because of the investigation they were not available for service Monday. The City of Berkeley's solid-waste unit agreed to step in and do a garbage pick-up run on campus Monday, accompanied by UC workers. "One phone call [to the city] and they were there for us," said campus recycling manager Lisa Bauer.
The blaze did not cause any evacuations at University Village, which adjoins the Gill Tract at the southwest corner of San Pablo and Marin avenues in Albany. Village resident Rasha Gish, wife of mechanical engineering Ph.D. student Russell Gish, noticed the fire about 3 a.m. and watched its "enormous" tower of flames and smoke from her apartment window. "I stayed up to watch it, thinking if it spread past the warehouse, I'd consider evacuating," she said.