News

Fire destroys house in Portola Valley

A two-alarm fire completely destroyed a home at 35 Valencia Court in Portola Valley on 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.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jeanne Kunz
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Sep 26, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Thank you, thank you to our wonderful Woodside Fire District firemen! Your prompt response and effective efforts prevented this fire from destroying additional properties in our community. We owe you, as always, our most sincere thanks and gratitude. Additionally, the 1st Chili Cookoff BBQ at Runnymede on Sunday was delightful!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Sep 26, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Yes, many thanks to the Firemen for their quick action!

Given the time (around 8.40pm Friday 23rd September 2011), might they look for some space debris or fragment from the UAR Satellite? It may have been the cause. Just a thought.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Sep 26, 2011 at 6:47 pm

I am so sorry to read this bad news. It's relief that no one is injured, but wow, it's a loss of much for the owners.

Owners, if you read this, I hope that you all are getting the support that you need from loved ones - & the insurance company!!!

Best wishes for better times coming your way swiftly.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by JoAnn Loulan
a resident of Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Sep 26, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Dear Nancy & Ross this is such horrible news. I'm so sorry to read about your loss. If there is anything I can do let me know. Thank heaven you weren't hurt. I'm keeping you both in my thoughts. Take care, JoAnn


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ola Kudu
a resident of another community
on Sep 26, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Aunt Nancy, Uncle Ross. Your family loves you and is coming out to help! Just spoke to Evan and he will fly in Weds am, I'm coming out Friday pm. We will rebuild and be stronger than ever! Love you guys and see you soon. We may have to have a few beers at Rosottis aka Comfort food. Emailing this message to you now but also wanted to post this in a public forum in case you are having limited computer access. - Ola


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Local picks on 2015 Michelin Bib Gourmand list
By Elena Kadvany | 8 comments | 3,650 views

Charter School Proposal Steeped In Unintended Consequences
By Erin Glanville | 55 comments | 2,239 views

A Surprise!
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 1,455 views

Marriage Underachievers
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,413 views

Measure M-- I am not drinking Greenheartís expensive potion
By Martin Lamarque | 26 comments | 821 views