Firefighters quickly control Atherton fire

Firefighters were able to quickly control a two-alarm attic fire at a large two-story home on Isabella Avenue in Atherton on Sunday afternoon.

Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman credited a worker on the scene for responding rapidly to an alarm and turning a garden hose on the fire.

Firefighters with the Menlo Park Fire Protection District arrived at the home at 96 Isabella Ave. within about four minutes of the call, which came in at 1:09 p.m., he said.

Firefighters had to lay out more than 600 feet of hose to reach the fire, he said. But they had the fire under control in about 20 minutes.

No one was injured. The fire caused an estimated $100,000 in structural damage, primarily to the attic space, and maybe another $10,000 in water damage, the chief said.

The second alarm was called as a precautionary measure due to heavy smoke, and the risk that the fire could spread rapidly in the all-wood Japanese pagoda-style home, he said.

No one was home except the worker, he said.

Chief Schapelhouman said he suspects the fire was accidental and the cause will be found to be electrical.

The home at 96 Isabella Ave. last sold in 2007 for $14 million, according to, which said the size of the home is 8,000 square feet.

-- Bay City News Service contributed to this report.


Like this comment
Posted by suspicious
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 30, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Hmm Bought for $14 mill. and now valued at $6 mill. ??? Inquiring minds want to know . . .

Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Not sure why they didn't report it, but the fire was at 96 Isabella Avenue, Larry Ellison's "Japanese Freakout" (Web Link). Ellison has since moved to Woodside (among other places).

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