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


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Burger chain Shake Shack to open in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 11 comments | 3,460 views

Eat, Surf, Love
By Laura Stec | 4 comments | 1,165 views

Couples: So You Married Mom or Dad . . .
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 1,120 views

The Cost of Service
By Aldis Petriceks | 1 comment | 772 views

One-on-one time
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 180 views