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 Zillow.com, which said the size of the home is 8,000 square feet.