On Wednesday, May 4 at 1 p.m., Mountain View Communications received a phone call reporting smoke coming from an apartment in a multi-family residence in the 300 block of Escuela Avenue.
Units were dispatched at 1:01 p.m. and arrived on the scene at 1:04 p.m. They encountered an active fire coming from the kitchen of a second-floor apartment in a three-story apartment building. Firefighters quickly initiated a fire attack with pre-connected fire attack lines and extinguished the flames before they could spread into the other apartments.
A second alarm was called to bring additional resources to the scene of the incident. Firefighters from the Palo Alto Fire Department, the San Jose Fire Department, and the Santa Clara County Fire Department joined Mountain View firefighters in an exhaustive search of the complex for victims. Five civilians were treated at the scene for injuries, of which one was transported to the hospital and succumbed to their injuries. One Chief Officer was treated for injuries to the hand from a canine bite while he was performing rescue of the canine.
Firefighters performed an extensive overhaul of the building by cutting open the walls and ceiling to ensure complete extinguishment of the flames. Traffic was closed in both directions of Escuela Avenue while firefighters conducted fire attack, treatment and salvage operations.
The “all clear” was given at 2:42 p.m., meaning everyone was accounted for and the fire was completely extinguished. At least 50 residents had to make temporary sleeping accommodations. Traffic was reopened to both directions of Escuela Avenue.
The fire was extinguished with no injuries to firefighters. The estimated damage to the contents and structure is $700,000. The cause of the fire is under investigation.