PRESS RELEASE - October 19, 2019 Structure Fire - NFO

Published on Oct 23, 2018 at 02:30p.m.

San Mateo County Public Safety Communications Center (PSC) received multiple reports of smoke coming from a home on the 200 Block of Dumbarton Avenue located in the Unincorporated area of North Fair Oaks (NFO) on Thursday, at 1.41 pm. Menlo Park Fire Captain Jim Montalvo and his crew on Engine 5 were driving near the area and reported a “working fire” when they arrived on scene of the single story Duplex at 1.45 pm.

Firefighters on Engine 5 quickly deployed a hose line and entered the home finding the kitchen on fire. It appeared the fire had originated on the stove top and spread to the upper kitchen cabinets, a microwave oven and into the wall. The Fire was quickly knocked down and deemed “under control” at 1.48 pm. A total of 5 Engines, 1 Ladder Truck and 2 Battalion Chiefs from the Fire District and Redwood City Fire Department were dispatched as part of a first alarm assignment to the fire. A total of 23 personnel including two fire investigators responded to the scene. Menlo Battalion Chief Dan Coyle quickly released most of the units once it was determined that the Duplex’s joint attic space, while completely filled with smoke, did not have fire extend up and into it, and the wall was opened up behind the cook top and upper kitchen cabinets to check for any fire spread, of which none was found.

A quick thinking neighbor used a garden hose to spray water through the kitchen window safely from the outside of the home, which may have helped to slow the progression of the fire. No one was injured during the fire and the home occupant arrived back at the home shortly after Firefighters arrived. Fire Investigators were called into the scene and determined that an unattended cooking pan on the stove top was the origin of the fire and the cause will be listed as “human error, accidental in nature”. Damage was estimated between $5000 to $15000 dollars. Firefighters cleared the scene at 3.34 pm.

Fire Chief Schapelhouman said “unattended cooking fires are the most common type of fires we encounter. Turning the stove off, moving the pan or just not leaving the kitchen while you are cooking is always recommended”.

Pictured below - Menlo Park and Redwood City Fire Fighters quickly extinguish an unattended kitchen fire in North Fair Oaks on Thursday - Photo Credit Fire Photographer Peter Mootz

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