Press Release - June 30, 2018

Published on Jul 02, 2018 at 03:41p.m.

Menlo Park Fire Protection District

Menlo Park Firefighters extinguished the remnants of a shed fire located next to a detached garage in the Town of Atherton late Friday afternoon. The fire on Greenoaks Drive was reported at 4.06 pm by the owners of the home, who had gone outside and discovered the fire, then called 911.  Firefighters were advised of several small explosions prior to their arrival which they believe was from stored propane cylinders, aerosol cans and gasoline that had been in the shed. They were also advised of a downed power line, which slightly complicated firefighting efforts by limiting their accessibility to some of the areas near the garage. Battalion Chief Tom Calvert arrived first on-scene at 4.11 pm and reported a working fire just starting to involve the side of the detached garage. The Fire was quickly extinguished and brought under control by 4.33 pm. No one was injured and the main house was never threatened by the fire.

A group of eight new Menlo Park Firefighters who were finishing the last day of their multi-week, day long academy, were brought in to help with the overhaul of the scene. They were assigned the the detached garage where they checked to make sure the fire had not gotten into the eves of the building and was potentially spreading up into a ventilation space above the garages interior ceiling. Fire Investigators responded and spent several hours at the scene. The cause of the fire is undetermined but the family lawn mower is suspect. Destruction of the shed and damage to the detached garage is estimated between $50,000 to $100,000. A total of two Battalion Chiefs, a Ladder Truck, Five Fire Engines, a Rescue Squad and eight new recruits along and their Field Training Officer/Captain for a total of 30 Fire Personnel responded to the Fire. Most were quickly released once the extent of the small fire was known.

Fire Chief Schapelhouman said “the early detection of the Fire by the homeowner, a very fast response time along with the weight, or number of units, included in a full first alarm response including the eight additional new personnel, helped us bring this fire under control very quickly”. That allowed the Incident Commander to release other non-essential units from the Fire District and other agencies like Redwood City and Woodside, so they could be available to handle other emergencies or return to their own jurisdictions. “We come in heavy (with multiple fire units) and personnel on calls like this, but we also release them as fast as we can if we get the fire knocked down, or determine they won’t be needed”, the Chief said.

Photograph below - Please give credit to Menlo Fire Photographer Peter Mootz - Little was left of a storage shed that burned next to a detached garage in Atherton Friday. At least four explosions were heard before firefighters arrived and a power line was down complicating access and extinguishment of the fire.


Photograph below - Please give credit to Menlo Fire Photographer Peter Mootz - Eight new Probationary Firefighters were brought in to help with overhaul and to reload the hoses onto Fire Engine Six after Friday’s shed fire in Atherton. The new firefighters were assigned to shifts and stations after the completion of their academy on Friday.


More: Home News