Fire destroys Woodside home

Three-alarm blaze brought in mutual aid from surrounding areas

A fire completely destroyed a home at 1200 Bear Gulch Road in Woodside Saturday, June 2, despite efforts by six fire agencies.

"It was a total loss," Woodside Fire Chief Dan Ghiorso said.

Within minutes of report of the structural fire at 1:15 p.m., a second alarm was issued, calling in help from fire agencies in Woodside, Menlo Park, Redwood City, San Mateo County and San Carlos, as well as air support from Cal Fire.

"I could see a column of smoke from the station," said Battalion Chief Kevin Butler, who issued the second alarm before heading out.

"The house was built into the side of a hill," he said. With heavy winds at the ridgeline, the fire was running uphill, catching nearby vegetation and canopy, he added.

Seventy-one personnel and 27 fire units were engaged in fighting the fire, which was under control by 3:56 p.m., Butler said.

The homeowners were not at home at the time of the fire, and no one was hurt. One firefighter was taken to the hospital and treated for heat exhaustion, but returned to duty later in the day, he said.

The biggest challenges in fighting the fire was its location -- rural, on a one-lane road -- and access to water, Butler said. Hoses were hooked up to hydrants above the house.

Embers were carried by the wind, causing spot fires, he said, so fire crews will remain on the scene through Monday morning.

Cause of the fire is under investigation, Ghiorso said.

Carol Blitzer


 +   Like this comment
Posted by David
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 4, 2012 at 10:55 am

Its a long way up Bear Gulch Road. I viewed the smoke from the Baylands; the fire location was nearly up to Skyline. I am amazed that this fire did not turn into something much larger. Kudos to the responders. However, I did't see any air support. Maybe they had departed by the time I saw the smoke.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 4, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

See the Almanac story:
Web Link

Water from a helicopter key in preventing conflagration this weekend

by Dave Boyce
Almanac Staff

Three 500-gallon buckets of water from a helicopter helped douse a three-alarm house fire at 1200 Bear Gulch Road on Saturday, June 2. The helicopter drops stopped an intense fire that had spread to nearby trees from becoming a conflagration that involved the forest, Fire Chief Dan Ghiorso of the Woodside Fire Protection District told the Almanac.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by FiresRBad
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 4, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Hope no pets were harmed by the fire either.

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