PRESS RELEASE - December 10, 2018 - Menlo Park Fire Protection District - School Kitchen Fire Quickly Extinguished

Published on Dec 10, 2018 at 11:53a.m.

Menlo Park Firefighters responded to a reported ADT alarm sounding and kitchen suppression system activation at the John and Susan Sobrato Pavilion located on the Nativity School Campus at 1250 Laurel Street in Menlo Park Sunday afternoon at 2.21 pm.

Captain Seth Johnson with the crew on Menlo Fire Engine 6 arrived on scene at 2.24 pm and reported that they had smoke and water inside the gymnasium but that a kitchen fire had been extinguished by the suppression system.

A fire on the commercial kitchen stove cook top had apparently spread to the overhead filters and was quickly extinguished by the automatic Ansul Fire Suppression system and two adjoining sprinkler heads in the room. Once Firefighters got the sprinkler heads shut down, they quickly addressed the water that had started to spread out of the kitchen and onto the wood gymnasium floor before it could cause further damage.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Firefighters were unable to determine who had been using the cook top and what exactly had triggered the event. Fire Investigators were inspecting the facility today (Monday), to further look into the incident. The building was turned over to custodial staff who also provided a fire watch until the Protection systems could be restored and operational on Monday.

Battalion Chief Tom Calvert said “the suppression systems in the kitchen saved the day, if it wasn’t for them, the fire, heat, smoke and water damage would have severely impacted the entire building. We still needed to use fans to help blow the smoke out of the building and mop up the water on the floors, but that was minimal work and effort given the potential for the fire to have severely impacted this facility”.

A total of three Menlo Fire Engines, an Aerial Ladder Truck and a Battalion Chief, or 14 personnel, responded to the incident. All Fire personnel cleared the scene by 3.36 pm.

Pictured below - Fire crews and apparatus at The Nativity Sobrato Pavilion - Credit Fire Photographer Peter Mootz

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Pictured below - Left to right - Captain Seth Johnson, Firefighters Magnan and Robinson along with a Nativity School Staff member inspect the Sobrato Pavilion ‘s kitchen hood and duct system that activated and extinguished a stove top and filter fire Sunday - Credit Peter Mootz Fire Photographer.
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