4 people rescued from fire at historic UC Berkeley building

A police cruiser on the street outside a red brick building.
Police and firefighters responded Monday to a fire at UC Berkeley’s Anna Head Alumnae Hall. Authorities believe the blaze began as an outdoor debris fire that spread to the historic building.
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Four people were rescued from the top floor of a historic building at UC Berkeley after a fire broke out Monday, according to authorities.

University of California police officers, Berkeley firefighters and the campus fire marshal responded to the 2400 block of Bowditch Street near Haste Street shortly before noon, said Roqua Montez IV, a university spokesperson.

Firefighters knocked down the blaze by 1:42 p.m., and although no nearby campus buildings were affected, authorities believe water used to contain the flames probably damaged the building, Montez said


The spokesperson identified the building as Anna Head Alumnae Hall, which was built in 1927 and served as the assembly hall for the all-girls Anna Head School Complex, according to the university’s website.

The university acquired the building in 1964, according to the website. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The building will stay closed until further notice, Montez said.

Authorities believe Monday’s fire began as an outdoor debris fire that spread to the building, said Deputy Chief David Sprague of the Berkeley Fire Department.

“We’ve responded to several fires there in the past years,” Sprague said.

In the last year, there have been two other exterior debris fires, he said. Suspicious circumstances were not found in those incidents.

What caused the most recent fire is under investigation, Sprague said.