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Berkeley Merchants Rebound From Fire For Holiday Street Fair

BERKELEY (KCBS)— A month after a five-alarm fire destroyed an historic building on Telegraph Avenue, the major Berkeley thoroughfare is open for business again.

Merchants along the once bustling Berkeley corridor are banking on their annual holiday street fair to help them recover from the devastating fire that burned November 18.

The Sequoia Building is now a heaping mound of fenced off rubble at Telegraph and Haste, where the 39-unit apartment complex once stood.

KCBS' Doug Sovern Reports:

Janet Klein, organizer of the annual holiday fair, hopes they make up for three weeks of lost customers and millions of dollars in lost revenue.

"The vendors, the merchants and stores are really struggling and need your support. The fire really gave us a blow below the belt," she said.

The street fair is a craft-lover's delight with jewelry, clothing and a one-of-a-kind Berkeley item— by Sam Ogren who makes all kinds of things out of dismantled nuclear missiles.

"They're non-radioactive, but still an essential part of the system because you can launch the war heads without this.

Ogren said he mines the cable parts for his crafts after the government decommissions the war head, then he extracts the core metals to make a bronze alloy out of it.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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