It has been a relaxing, peaceful week at Berkeley, hmmm?

relaxProfessors happily lecturing on their beloved subjects. Squirrels pouncing on each other. Us college folks getting pumped for the Big Game. Pot Food plentiful and smiles warming the air with love and laughter and joy and bright hippie sunshine!

No, we’re kidding. In reality, as we all know, many things of the opposite nature were circulating and electrifying the air. Students were calling loudly for the sake of their education. Classes were being cancelled due to angry faculty. Batons were, in the ever-so-accurate words of the Associated Press, “nudging” protestors and leaving them with bruises, broken ribs and sore spleens. The Haas School of Business experienced an alarming shooting and unexpected death.

And now, just in case all that wasn’t enough, a building on the corner of Telegraph Ave. and Haste St. caught fire Friday evening.

According to the Daily Cal, the fire began at around 8:48 p.m. and the cause of the fire is not yet entirely known.

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11:23 p.m. (Taken from Unit 3 Priestley Hall) Beverly Cleary residents were strongly recommended to evacuate the building.

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11:42 p.m. Fire is still raging.

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11:57 p.m. Close-up

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12:04 a.m. Flames mostly on top floor and roof.

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12:05 a.m. Windows show bits of roof falling down.

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1:18 a.m. Roof is gone, fire is still going on.

The Daily Cal continued to report that at 3:19 a.m. the applause-deserving Berkeley Fire Department said the fire was contained. The fire blazed on for a total of 17 hours and is technically still burning, although the sidewalks have been opened to the public recently.  As of now, the building is “structurally unsound” and the Telegraph and Haste intersection will be closed off for a least a week due to the possibility of the building collapsing.

And at first we thought the sirens were related to the Occupy Cal movement. Or wild frat parties. Or some other thing incited due to the Big Game. Anything other than what seemed unlikely: another addition to the list of crazy things that have happened and continue to happen in Berkeley.

Tweets were coming in throughout the time of the fire, some of them from residents of the building themselves. One, Kat Kim, stated at 2:25 a.m., “Well there goes my top story apartment in that building. I guess all hope for saving any of my things is lost …”. Others lamented the loss of the frequented businesses on the first floor of the building, such as Andy Albright who tweeted, “I’m being affected by the fire. I work at intermezzo. My only source of income”.

The Clog especially has a soft spot for Cafe Intermezzo. Oh, Intermezzo.

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Dear Cafe Intermezzo, Thai Noodle II and Raleigh’s Bar and Grill …
The Clog wishes to commemorate you in our memories. We pray that your employees are not disastrously crippled by this sobering event. That those delicious sandwiches and enormous salads are not to be only glowing remnants of the past. The difficulty of merely thinking of our human existences without you three.  It is just simply unpalatable (but in the case of this grave event, the pun is most likely not appreciated).

Hopefully overly protective parents will not now be encouraging their high school children to click “UC Berkeley” off the list of UC campuses they are submitting their college applications to. Come on, this sort of thing doesn’t make Cal dangerous, right?
More like very real and lively is how the Clog prefers to think of it. Typical scene. Lots of diversity … in events and incidents that is. This is all merely us living up to our colorful reputation.

But putting aside that light bit of humor, the Clog stands amazed and humbled by the events of this week. A week that, besides being Big Game week, has had history-making, life-changing occurrences that no one could or would have expected.

And finally, the Clog staff may be known for its crude humor and admirable sarcasm, but in all sincerity, the Clog feverishly hopes that the students and residents of the building will manage to stand back up on solid ground very soon with support and kindness from the Berkeley community (and the comments on Storify show that there is truly still hope to be found in humanity).

Image Source: (top) lukey dargons under Creative Commons and (all others) Eunice Choi, Daily Cal



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