Fire in Berkeley Bayer building now under review by Cal/OSHA
The men were working for Anderson Commercial Flooring when the fire broke out in a building on the Bayer campus, officials say.
Cal/OSHA is looking into the circumstances surrounding a fire at Bayer's Berkeley facility that sent two flooring contractors to the hospital with severe burns last month.
Cal/OSHA is charged with investigating workplace safety violations and can issue citations when inspectors identify problems that lead to injury or death.
Details have been slim, but officials said the men were working for Anderson Commercial Flooring when the fire broke out in an otherwise unoccupied biomanufacturing building on the Bayer campus, at 800 Dwight Way, at about 11:10 a.m. on Jan. 17.
Both men were able to walk outside on their own but suffered extensive second- and third-degree burns, according to preliminary reports.
One longtime first responder who was at the scene told The Berkeley Scanner that the injuries were among the worst he had seen in his career.
Officials told The Berkeley Scanner that both workers were still alive according to the most recent update they had received, but no details have been available regarding their current conditions.
The prognosis had been particularly grim for one of the injured men, who required skin grafts and had undergone at least three surgeries as of last week, according to a relative.
Anderson Commercial Flooring, a 65-year-old family business based in Oakland, has not responded to inquiries from The Berkeley Scanner.
The Berkeley Fire Department said recently that its investigation remains open and that fire prevention staff were working to complete interviews about what had happened.
Fire damage was limited to one floor of the Bayer facility, the company said last month. No information has been available to date about the cost to repair the damage.
The Berkeley Scanner has filed a Public Records Act request with the city for all available information pertaining to the Bayer fire.
The Berkeley Fire Department said it hopes to make material available in response to that request by Feb. 9.
Cal/OSHA inspections generally take about six months to complete, a spokeswoman told The Berkeley Scanner on Thursday.