An Albany man was taken to the hospital over the weekend after his camper shell, over a pick-up truck, caught fire on Talbot Avenue on Saturday morning.
Authorities said the man received burns during the blaze, but that he was conscious when he was taken to the hospital by the Berkeley Fire Department. Additional information about his condition was not available.
Neighbor Preston Jordan said the victim told another neighbor he had been cooking eggs in the camper when the fire began.
Jordan said the victim is a property owner on the block who rents out a residence, and has been living on that rental property in a camper for about a month.
Jordan said he was in his own house, across the street, on Saturday morning when he felt and heard what he first thought was a car hitting his home.
He went outside to investigate and saw the camper across the street with smoke pouring out of it. Jordan said two people started trying to douse the flames with a hose.
"While I was calling AFD from my front steps the smoke pouring out the top of the camper turned to flame," he said, via email. "I yelled repeatedly for various people around the camper to evacuate. Some did and some did not. After the call, I evacuated my family to the back of our house because during the call I heard another small explosion from inside the camper. I had no idea what might happen next."
Jordan said he was grateful that the Albany Fire Department arrived so quickly and was able to put out the fire before it involved structures on either side of it.
Albany Fire Capt. John Weitzel said firefighters were dispatched around 11:40 a.m. Saturday. When they arrived, to the 500 block of Talbot, they found smoke and flames coming out of the camper's windows.
The victim appeared to be attempting to put out the flames with a garden hose as neighbors helped him, said Weitzel.
It took about 10 minutes for authorities to put out the fire, Weitzel said.
On Saturday, few official details were available regarding how the fire began. Weitzel said firefighters had not yet been able to interview the victim about how the incident came about.
"It's not clear as to how this happened or how it started," he said. "We still have to do some investigation on it."
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