Local firefighters help out in San Bruno


Click on picture to enlarge.

By Dave Boyce

Almanac Staff Writer

Local firefighters played a role in fighting the massive residential fire that began with what is believed to be the explosion of a gas pipeline at 6:24 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 9, in San Bruno.

A message to the southern end of the Peninsula came in almost immediately asking for a water-tender group of four water trucks. The Woodside Fire Protection District provided a 3,000-gallon tender and four firefighters from Station 8 in Portola Valley, Battalion Chief Don Romero said in an interview.

Other participants in the group were the Kings Mountain and La Honda fire stations, staffed by trained volunteers, and the Skylonda station, which is staffed by firefighters who work for San Mateo County under contract with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Mr. Romero said.

The Menlo Park Police Department has two officers on the scene for duties as needed, Chief Bryan Roberts told the Almanac.

Pacific Gas & Electric is reporting that there are about 700 people without power, and 300 without gas in San Bruno.

Two of the water tender crews were reported on their way back home at 10:15 a.m. Friday, Mr. Romero said. There were no injuries to the firefighters in the water tender group, he said.

For firefighters on the scene in San Bruno, there will be a lot of checking for and extinguishing small fires, Mr. Romero said. "You want to make sure you don't get a wildland fire out of this."


Silicon Valley Community Foundation creates emergency fund.

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


Like this comment
Posted by Al
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 10, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Thank you to all the firefighters assisting with this devastating fire in San Bruno, where my parents lived out their lives. While their house was not affected as far as we could tell, they knew the neighbors and on their behalf cannot express how grateful we are that while something went terribly wrong, the emergency units all responded quickly despite many roadblocks. San Bruno, we are thinking of you.....

Like this comment
Posted by No name
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 11, 2010 at 12:28 am

I am surprised the $400k chief did not respond.

Like this comment
Posted by editor
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Sep 11, 2010 at 1:20 am

Chief Shapelhoumann later responded. We'll have more information on that.

Like this comment
Posted by Carrie
a resident of another community
on Sep 11, 2010 at 11:59 am

Though I'm now in another city, I lived in Menlo for over 20 years, and also the proud wife of a police officer, I feel I can comment.

It always amazes me that those who have something negative to say, i.e. "No Name" don't have the courage to leave their name. Are you more upset he didn't run up at the moment of the event or the fact that he makes a good salary? I'm thinking because you brought up his salary, that is what really bothers you.

That being said. Thanks to all those police officers, firemen, volunteers who risk their lives on a daily basis just showing up for work. WE DO APPRECIATE YOU!


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 11, 2010 at 2:26 pm

No Name - you will be embarrassed to know that Chief Schapelhouman was activated as part of the San Mateo County Emergency Operations Center immediately after the event occurred and he served in the Plans Section. The EOC had the responsibility of coordinating all of the requests for mutual aid and outside services.
You will be even more embarrassed to find that you have dramatically overstated his salary.

Perhaps you might want to do your homework in the future before you insult a superb public servant and make a fool out of yourself.

Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Sep 11, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Great Job to all first responders, What a demonstration of TEAM work and leadership.

Thank You

Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 14, 2010 at 4:01 pm

No Name - note the Almanac update:
Chief Harold Schapelhouman of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District said that he and about 14 other members of his team were at the fire at one time or another. They went on a voluntary basis since commanders on the scene did not request more firefighters from this far south of the action, he said.

In addition to Chief Schapelhouman and several of his deputies, there were a logistics specialist, a fleet mechanic, and three men from the Menlo Park-based California Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 3, he said. Some of the men, including himself, worked all night.

They helped map the scene, including counting and locating burned vehicles with a GPS, doing an initial count of damaged structures, damage assessment, and pumping out a crater 15 or 20 feet deep, Chief Schapelhouman said.

"Typically, we don't self-dispatch," he said. He and his deputies made themselves useful as part of the integrated command structure "to manage a complicated and complex environment," he said.


[Portion deleted. Please don't attack other posters.]

Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 14, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Peter Carpenter having a post deleted?? I'm glad I'm not the only one that occasionaly feels the need to take a slap at a moron. I guess I'm in good company.

Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 14, 2010 at 8:49 pm

No Name - perhaps you will now have the decency and the courage to apologize for your insinuating remark about Chief Schapelhouman.

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.

Peek inside the fine-dining Selby's, opening in Redwood City this summer
By Elena Kadvany | 3 comments | 3,011 views

Juggling Renewables
By Sherry Listgarten | 42 comments | 2,149 views

Homestead Faire at Hidden Villa 4/27
By Laura Stec | 5 comments | 967 views

Premarital and Couples: "You're Not Listening to Me!" may mean "I don't feel heard."
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 720 views

Migraines and motherhood
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 462 views


The Almanac Readers' Choice ballot is here

It's time to decide what local business is worthy of the title "The Almanac Readers' Choice" — and you get to decide! Cast your ballot online. Voting ends May 27th. Stay tuned for the results in the July 17th issue of The Almanac.