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Webster Street garage closed following suspected arson

Police investigate whether unoccupied car set ablaze is linked to earlier fire in second garage

Stock photo courtesy Getty Images.

A fire set in Palo Alto's public parking structure at 520 Webster St. that engulfed an unoccupied car on Monday night and prompted the closure of the garage is being investigated as arson, according to a statement from Palo Alto police. The blaze was the second fire set in a downtown garage on the same night.

City dispatchers received a call at 11:45 p.m. on Monday from a nearby resident who reported smoke billowing from the garage. Responding police officers and fire personnel found a black, 2007 four-door Toyota Avalon fully engulfed in flames on the basement level of the multistory garage. There were no injuries.

Additional units from Palo Alto and Mountain View fire departments were called to help extinguish the flames. City building officials have closed the garage for safety reasons until the structure is determined safe for reentry, police said.

Officers contacted the car owner, who had parked the vehicle in the garage that morning. The fire appeared to be suspicious. There is no suspect information, police said.

The fire was the second of the evening in a downtown parking structure. Fire personnel also responded to a blaze at 11:01 p.m. in Lot “S,” another city-owned parking garage, located at 445 Bryant St. They quickly extinguished a fire in a trash can on the basement level. There was no significant damage beyond the trash can, police said. Investigators are looking into whether this incident is related to the later fire.

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Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Palo Alto Police Department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984.

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Sue Dremann is a veteran journalist who joined the Palo Alto Weekly in 2001. She is a breaking news and general assignment reporter who also covers the regional environmental, health and crime beats. Read more >>

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Webster Street garage closed following suspected arson

Police investigate whether unoccupied car set ablaze is linked to earlier fire in second garage

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Oct 5, 2021, 12:59 pm

A fire set in Palo Alto's public parking structure at 520 Webster St. that engulfed an unoccupied car on Monday night and prompted the closure of the garage is being investigated as arson, according to a statement from Palo Alto police. The blaze was the second fire set in a downtown garage on the same night.

City dispatchers received a call at 11:45 p.m. on Monday from a nearby resident who reported smoke billowing from the garage. Responding police officers and fire personnel found a black, 2007 four-door Toyota Avalon fully engulfed in flames on the basement level of the multistory garage. There were no injuries.

Additional units from Palo Alto and Mountain View fire departments were called to help extinguish the flames. City building officials have closed the garage for safety reasons until the structure is determined safe for reentry, police said.

Officers contacted the car owner, who had parked the vehicle in the garage that morning. The fire appeared to be suspicious. There is no suspect information, police said.

The fire was the second of the evening in a downtown parking structure. Fire personnel also responded to a blaze at 11:01 p.m. in Lot “S,” another city-owned parking garage, located at 445 Bryant St. They quickly extinguished a fire in a trash can on the basement level. There was no significant damage beyond the trash can, police said. Investigators are looking into whether this incident is related to the later fire.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Palo Alto Police Department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984.

Comments

S. Underwood
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Oct 5, 2021 at 1:55 pm
S. Underwood, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Oct 5, 2021 at 1:55 pm

Are folks still living there, with police and the city turning a blind eye? I only ask because fires / arson among transients or whatever we're calling 'unhoused' folks these days is a common trend... not trying to judge anyone, and I know it's not PC to say, but it's sadly a thing.


Julian Guiterrez
Registered user
another community
on Oct 6, 2021 at 12:36 pm
Julian Guiterrez, another community
Registered user
on Oct 6, 2021 at 12:36 pm

How do you know (or can confirm) that this fire was started by a homeless individual?

Many Crescent Park residents are seemingly out of touch with the real world because they are affluent & only concerned with their own needs and exigencies.


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