SLAC

Post image for Menlo Park Fire Protection District responds to two-alarm fire at SLAC last night

A fire alarm last night at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park at 9:47 pm brought response from Menlo Park Fire Protection District Engine 6, which arrived to find heavy black smoke pouring from one of the structures.

The Captain requested a full first alarm response on arrival. A second alarm at 10:02 pm brought in additional Menlo Park units as well as units from the Woodside Fire Protection District, Palo Alto Fire Department, Redwood City Fire Department, San Mateo County Fire Department, American Medical Response, and Public Safety Communications.

The second alarm was staged at the front gate while first alarm crews worked with SLAC representatives and electrical engineers to shut down the area and de-energize the affected area. Once that was done, firefighters used several large mobile carbon dioxide extinguishing carts, stored on-site, to suppress the fire which appears to have started in a large electrical switching cabinet.

“Our crews have been well trained in the protocols and techniques needed to suppress and control fires at this facility,” said Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman. “This was a text book case of isolating the source, de-energizing the unit, using on-site carbon dioxide extinguishers to cool the electrical cabinets, and putting the fire out, working hand-in0hand with SLAC personnel.”

No injuries were reported,  and the fire did not posse a threat to the community. Reports of very heavy black smoke affecting traffic on both directions of Highway 280 were eliminated once the area was de-energized. The fire was brought under control by 10:33 pm, and fire units were being released with the exception of several engine companies that worked to help overhaul the area and assist SLAC personnel until 11:56 pm.

“In the coming days our prevention staff will work with SLAC representatives to determine the exact cause of the fire, and we will review our operations,”  said Chief Schapelhouman. “Our prevention bureau meets monthly and I meet quarterly with SLAC representatives to discuss every incident at this site. They have an exceptional safety record and this event will not be taken lightly.”

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“The Dark Universe Through Einstein’s Lens” is July 23 SLAC Public Lecture in Menlo Park

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Debbie Bard, a staff scientist at SLAC in Menlo Park and a member of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophyics and Cosmology, will deliver the SLAC Public Lecture, “The Dark Universe Through Einstein’s Lens,”on July 23 from 7:30 to 8;30 pm. One of the most surprising predictions made by Einstein’s theory of relativity is that […]

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Let it bee – saving a hearty colony on the SLAC campus in Menlo Park

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The colony of honeybees that’s lived in an old blue oak tree in front of Building 41 on the SLAC campus in Menlo Park for nearly 50 years has been relocated because the decaying tree must be cut down, for safety’s sake, prior to the building’s renovation. Beginning in May, San Jose beekeeper Art Hall […]

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Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser pushed to record energies at SLAC in Menlo Park

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John Hill watched with eager anticipation as controllers in Menlo Park ramped up the power systems driving SLAC’s X-ray laser in an attempt to achieve the record high energies needed to make his experiment a runaway success. The Brookhaven National Laboratory scientist was the leader of a research team that had come from Illinois, Germany, […]

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Kavli open house draws sell out crowd eager to learn more about astrophysics and cosmology

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After a decade spent studying some of the most puzzling questions in astrophysics, providing research and learning opportunities to more than 100 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, publishing thousands of scientific papers and pushing back the boundaries of what’s known about the cosmos, the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology in Menlo Park decided […]

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Spotted: Two stone gargoyles on a Menlo Park roof top

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For the past 15 years, two small, grotesque statues have spent their days squatting on the roof of Building 280B on the SLAC campus in Menlo Park, peering out over the cars in Parking Lot G. No one is quite sure how the two stone gargoyles reached their perches — or if they are, they’re not […]

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Chris Spells helps keep SLAC employees on fitness path

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The new Arrillaga Recreation Center at SLAC in Menlo Park in managed by Chris Spells. We caught up with him behind the reception desk, where he spends much of his day checking in people at the fitness center, tracking equipment orders and gathering suggestions for improvements. Welcome to SLAC. We’re going to let you introduce […]

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Every tree has its tag on SLAC campus in Menlo Park – and that translates to almost 5,000

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From 150-year-old native oaks to young redwoods, nearly 6,000 trees grace SLAC’s 426-acre campus in Menlo Park.Most of them are labeled with a three-digit number on a one-inch-diameter aluminum disk nailed into their trunk. These tree tags are an integral part of a comprehensive SLAC’s tree-management program, started about six years ago to more efficiently […]

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SLAC celebrates 50th anniversary: What’s gone on underneath Menlo Park?

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Even though the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is celebrating its 50th anniversary today, we’re guessing that what goes on at SLAC is probably a mystery to most local reasons. In addition to our conversation earlier this week with Dr. Sidney Drell, one of SLAC’s founding scientists, we asked Media Relations Manager Andrew Freeberg to unearth […]

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SLAC theoretical physicist Sidney Drell reflects on his public policy work involving nuclear disarmament

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Editor’s note: This weekend the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park will celebrate its 50th anniversary. We used the occasion to schedule a visit with Dr. Sidney Drell, the Stanford emeritus professor who has been a part of SLAC for all five of its decades. A theoretical physicist, Drell is equally well known for […]

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“In the Shadow of HIGGS” is SLAC lecture on July 31

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This has been an exciting summer for particle physicists who have collectively spent the last 40 years hunting for the Higgs boson. Last year, ATLAS and CMS, the two largest experiments analyzing collisions produced by the Large Hadron Collider, observed tantalizing hints of this elusive particle. On July 4th, the two collaborations unveiled their latest […]

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