Firefighters 'knock down' house fire in Woodside

At least one person is reported injured

Firefighters, including several from the Woodside Fire Protection District, "knocked down" a two-alarm structure fire in a large one-story house at 214 Eleanor Drive in Woodside Thursday (Dec. 1) at about 3:23 p.m., according to reports from firefighters on the scene.

At least one person was injured, though the extent of injuries is unclear. The victim was removed from the house, firefighters said.

At one point, three firefighters were on the flat roof of the house and removed one skylight, typically done to allow the fire some controllable ventilation and to give firefighters access to the flames with their hoses.

Firefighters may have cut one hole into the rear of the structure, also for ventilation.

Some salvage is going on, but the second alarm units that were ready on Woodside Road were not actually needed, they said.

As many as three rooms were involved with fire, firefighters said in an early report, but the latest report had the fire confined to one room about 20 feet square.

A report showed six fire engines showed up, each of which carries three firefighters, and three battalion commanders who organize the effort on scene, and one water-carrying truck.

Teams of firefighters are still being rotated in and out of firefighting duties. During the firefighting, the gas and electrical utilities were shut off, firefighters said.

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Like this comment
Posted by FF/Paramedic
a resident of another community
on Dec 1, 2011 at 9:15 pm

As a Paramedic Firefighter from another more rural county (previous palo alto resident) It sounds like a successful save, with excellent response and fire ground management. Ventilation was done successfully, the seed of the fire found and extinguished and a victim removed. I don't want to get into the politics, as I am not currently up to date on the happening with PAFD (I remember the happenings beginning before I left) while this event is unfortunate for the home owners, it further goes to prove why cutting staffing is not a good idea. Also excellent article by Palo Alto Online, the explanations are appreciated, as sometimes people confuse what it is we do and question the perceived "damage" as being wreckless (in response to cutting ventilation)

Like this comment
Posted by kongjie
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 2, 2011 at 10:43 am

kongjie is a registered user.

What is the difference between knocking down a fire and putting out a fire?

Like this comment
Posted by Firefighter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 2, 2011 at 1:12 pm

"Knocking down a fire" means that you have extinguish most of the main fire in a structure. After that, comes the overhaul of the structure: opening up walls, ceilings and floors to get at the the rest of the fire. The fire is "out" when there is no active burning (fire) in the structure.

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