News

Second fire burns near Paly in six weeks

Firefighters douse blaze behind school district bus yard

A Monday evening fire near Palo Alto High School burned in an area where the school district stores its buses. It was the second suspicious fire in the area in six weeks.

Palo Alto firefighters responded to the 6:23 p.m. blaze after receiving calls about smoke behind the Palo Alto Unified School District bus yard at 50 Embarcadero Road, Battalion Chief Chris Woodard said.

Two grocery carts full of paper and other products were on fire behind the transportation building, which is located near a bike path. The fire had ignited leaves in the Caltrain easement, he said.

To gain access to the isolated area, department personnel had to force the bus-yard lock and a second lock and chain on a fence separating the school property from the train tracks, Woodard said. Firefighters used wildland hose packs to gain access to the fire area.

The fire was the second in the same location in several weeks. On May 24 a 5:23 a.m. blaze destroyed a homeless man's encampment. The fire spread onto Paly property and ignited insulated construction pipes for new classrooms, causing $100,000 in damage.

During Monday's fire Caltrain reduced its train speeds while firefighters worked within the easement. Department staff worked quickly to extinguish the fire and to keep the heavily traveled bicycle path open, Woodard said. There were no injuries reported by fire personnel.

Related story:

Firefighters battle morning blaze at Paly

Comments

Posted by Billy, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2012 at 1:50 pm

> The fire was the second in the same location in several weeks.
> On May 24 a 5:23 a.m. blaze destroyed a homeless man's encampment.
> The fire spread onto Paly property and ignited insulated construction
> pipes for new classrooms, causing $100,000 in damage.

And people say that the homeless don't do any harm ... wonder if anyone has made this point to this gentleman, and asked if he has any plans to repay the school district?


Posted by Unsafe&OnPurpose, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 10, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Fires are horrid, and especially if it is done On Purpose!!
The costs of the school, the trees and plants,and possibly animals.
If it is found out who did it, he/she should go to jail. NO just "I'm sorry."


Posted by Dan, a resident of Southgate
on Jul 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm

I've often wondered what was in all those bags hanging off the two shopping carts that guy has. The bags bulge out of the cart for 3 feet to the top, front, and sides of his carts. If the same guy was camped in the same place where both fires started, clearly he's creating a hazard and something needs to be done. Compassion and tolerance for the homeless doesn't mean you have to let him burn down your school through carelessness.


Posted by chance, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm

time to hire security guys and students need to put on uniforms during school hours.


Posted by Jeff, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 12, 2012 at 5:58 am

It's the same, mentally ill guy, with the same flammable bags of bags that he collects, and stores next to the fence along the bike path behind Paly, or at Peers Park next to the tennis courts. After now 2 fires from his bags of bags collection, be sure to let fire and police officials know when you see a new accumulation. It'll only take a few days.


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