A BART employee was hospitalized due to smoke inhalation after a fire that apparently originated at a homeless encampment on the Union Pacific right-of-way spread to a control tower in the BART Richmond maintenance yard early Sunday, according to the Richmond Fire Department.
Richmond firefighters responded to the fire at the 4-story BART Control Tower located in the yard at 1101 13th St. at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday.
A Richmond firefighter rescued the BART employee from the fourth floor control room. The employee was transported to the hospital after suffering from smoke inhalation.
Firefighters had the blaze under control in about 45 minutes. The fire’s cause is under investigation.
While the control tower endured heavy exterior damage to metal siding and minimal to moderate smoke damage to its stairwell and control room, fire officials say they were able to save all operating equipment in the control room.
A total of four engines and 20 fire personnel responded, with assistance from the El Cerrito Fire Department, Richmond Fire Prevention Services Division, Contra Fire EMS, BART Police, BART Agency Plant Managers, a Union Pacific Special Agent and the East Bay Municipal Utility District.