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Early-morning blaze causes $1M damage to local home

Menlo Park house was unoccupied; faulty wiring suspected

Firefighters are estimating that an early morning blaze caused $1 million in damage to an unoccupied residence in Menlo Park on Saturday.

The fire was reported at 3:16 a.m. at 1045 Trinity Drive, near the Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club.

Firefighters arrived on scene at 3:22 a.m. to find heavy fire coming from the front of the building, and flames visible through a partially collapsed roof, according to Menlo Park Fire Protection District Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman.

"We don't have many fires up in the Sharon Heights foothills, but those we have had are always a concern because they have a significant fire spread potential," he said in a statement. "The size and type of structures located on hillsides and in relative close proximity to one another among large trees can quickly spread a fire."

Firefighters upgraded the blaze to a two-alarm response at 3:27 a.m. due to heavy fire involvement and concern that the fire might spread to other structures. A fence caught fire and a nearby tree was smoldering, according to Schapelhouman.

The fire was under control by 4:12 a.m. but caused extensive damage inside and outside of the home. Firefighters estimate $750,000 in structural damage and $250,000 in damage due to loss of contents.

The house was being remodeled and was not occupied at the time of the fire. No injuries were reported. Investigators believe that the fire may have been caused by problems with electrical wiring, Schapelhouman said.

— Bay City News Service

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