Fire crews find no evidence of explosion reported in downtown Palo Alto


Fire crews were unable to find evidence of an explosion reported at a downtown Palo Alto restaurant Thursday morning, a fire official said.

Around 9:50 a.m., fire crews responded to a report of an explosion heard and smoke seen from Sam's Chowder House's basement, at 185 University Ave. at Emerson Street, fire Battalion Chief Chris Woodard said.

Crews arrived on scene and cleared the employees from the restaurant, while police assisted firefighters in evacuating the adjacent Palo Alto Bicycles and other businesses in the block, Woodard said. People were allowed back into most of the buildings before 11 a.m.

City utility crews were also called to the scene to shut down gas service to the business.

Fire officials initially thought the booming sound was a small gas explosion that occurred in the basement of Sam's Chowder House near a water heater. Firefighters made their way to the basement but did not find smoke, haze or any damage, according to Woodard.

No injuries were reported and no criminal activity was suspected, according to police.

Employees at Sam's Chowder House had been preparing for the day prior to the reported explosion and were able to conduct business as usual today, Woodard said.

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.


4 people like this
Posted by Water
a resident of another community
on Aug 6, 2015 at 10:56 am

I'm hearing the choppers overhead right now.

Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 6, 2015 at 2:56 pm

Yup, quite a zoo downtown this morning. Controlling pedestrian traffic was like herding cats. Chief Burns looked satisfied with the emergency response. The one news chopper I saw didn't show up til late in the game.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Be the first to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

First Sunnyvale, then Australia: Mountain View's Le Plonc plots expansion
By Elena Kadvany | 1 comment | 2,469 views

Juggling Renewables
By Sherry Listgarten | 35 comments | 1,970 views

Premarital and Couples: Living as Roommates?
By Chandrama Anderson | 2 comments | 1,422 views

Homestead Faire at Hidden Villa 4/27
By Laura Stec | 0 comments | 754 views

A trial run
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 538 views


Vote now!

It's time once again to cast your vote for the best places to eat, drink, shop and spend time in Palo Alto. Voting is open now through May 27. Watch for the results of our 2019 Best Of contest on Friday, July 19.