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.