A house fire in the Palo Alto foothills near the Palo Alto Hills Golf & Country Club has been extinguished by personnel from the Palo Alto and Mountain View Fire departments.
Firefighters and two engines, a ladder truck and a rescue truck, were present to battle the two-alarm blaze in the 900 block of Laurel Glen Drive, according to witnesses. Additional engines had responded and were positioned in reserve nearby.
The fire was first reported at 2:30 p.m. by neighbors Jan and Bill Terry. Bill had been walking by and spotted the flames. He said he thought about fighting the fire with a garden hose but noticed that the flames were shooting out horizontally from the split-level stucco home, as if from a gas main. The Terrys called 911.
The fire shattered the home's windows and appeared to cause significant damage.
By 3:40 p.m. the fire had been put out, but smoke continued to waft from the building, witnesses said. Firefighters were throwing items out of the second floor and breaking down first-floor ceiling panels to access hot spots that could flare up again.
An initial crowd of a half-dozen onlookers had begun to disperse and new fire crews were replacing old ones.
The fire apparently started on the outside corner of the house before spreading to the garage and the room above the garage, according to Palo Alto Fire Battalion Chief Niles Broussard.
According to the Terrys, the homeowners have lived in the residence for some time and were not present when the fire broke out. The Terrys also noted that it took 17 minutes for the first engine to arrive.
The Palo Alto Hills neighborhood lies off of Page Mill Road. It is composed of 77 homes and the Palo Alto Hills Country Club and includes Alexis Drive, Laurel Glen Drive and Bandera Drive.
Had the fire broken out prior to Sunday evening's rain, it could have been a source of major concern due to the tinder-dry condition of the foothills.