Last night at 8:40 p.m. we were driving through Berkeley to Sacrament on I-80 when we witnessed the initial stages of a five-alarm fire that damaged four businesses. I was driving, so I handed the camera (always have one in the car)to Anne who rolled down the window and took shots of the blaze at about 5 mph. When we were even with the blaze, there was an explosion and a wall of heat came into the car. For a second I doubted the wisdom of driving in the lane closest to the fire. The heat also reinforced our appreciation for the risk that firefighters confront in warehouse fires.
The owner of the Wooden Duck, a furniture store, later told the press his main store wasn’t destroyed, contrary to earlier news, and he thanked firefighters for their efforts. There were no reported injuries.