Menlo Park Firefighters responded to a report of an apartment fire at 6.57 pm on December 24, 2012, Christmas eve, at 815 Roble Avenue in the city of Menlo Park.
Upon its arrival at 7:00 pm, the first engine company advised that they had a working fire in a two story garden style apartment complex. The fire was located on the first floor in the unit farthest from the street.
The fire was reported by the units tenant when she called 911 and advised the San Mateo County Public Safety Fire Dispatch Communications center that there was a fire in her kitchen caused by a grease fire that had extended up and into the kitchen cabinets. She evacuated the apartment after first attempting to suppress the fire with baking soda and was not injured.
The apartment sustained significant fire, heat and smoke damage estimated at $35,000 structural damage and an additional $15,000in contents loss. The fire extended into a pipe and electrical chase way between the first and second floor unit and into the buildings attic causing minor damage to the second floor unit and attic before it was located by firefighters using thermal imagining detection units and extinguished.
Both apartment units were not habitable and the residents were displaced by the fire. Firefighters placed a “fire watch” on the 8-unit complex until early Christmas morning rotating fire engines overnight to make sure the fire was completely extinguished and to insure the safety of the other residents in the complex.
A total of 5 engines, 1 ladder truck, 2 Battalion Chiefs, 1 fire investigator and the Fire Chief responded to the incident for a total of 22 fire personnel. The fire was under control by 7:15 pm.
The same complex suffered another fire earlier this year when a bank robber who had held up the Wells Fargo Bank on Santa Cruz Avenue abandoned the get away vehicle in the apartment complexes parking garage and lit it on fire causing significant damage to the stolen vehicle and garage area as well as smoke damage to the units located above the parking area.