A two-alarm fire completely destroyed a home at 35 Valencia Court in Portola Valley Friday evening (Sept. 23), Chief Dan Ghiorso of the Woodside Fire Protection District said Monday.
The homeowners and residents are Ross and Nancy Bardwell, Mr. Bardwell confirmed in a brief phone conversation.
Investigators are looking at the garage as the place of the fire's origin, Chief Ghiorso said. The two vehicles in the garage were destroyed, but there were no injuries, he said.
Information on the size of the house and the estimated value of the house and its contents are not yet available.
One of the homeowners may have been staining wood, but the stain was reportedly water based and, if so, was likely not the cause, the chief said. A report of one or more explosions in the garage may have been cans of paint, probably not gasoline in the vehicles, Chief Ghiorso said.
A 911 call came at about 8:40 p.m. The incident drew around 10 firefighting vehicles (each typically staffed with four firefighters), plus four battalion chiefs to direct the crews, the chief said.
By the time crews arrived, the house was fully engulfed by fire so firefighters "went defensive" to prevent injuries to the crew and fought the blaze from outside the house, Chief Ghiorso said. "In about half an hour, they had a real good knockdown on it," he added.
The structure that remained standing was so weakened by the conflagration that investigators had to do their initial work from outside the house, Chief Ghiorso said.