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Menlo Park: Electrical malfunction causes hotel fire

 

An electrical malfunction started a fire Monday night at the Stanford Inn on El Camino Real in Menlo Park. Firefighters were able to quickly knock down the fire, and there were no reports of injuries, said Chief Harold Schapelhouman of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District.

Fire dispatchers were called around 7:27 p.m. with a report of smoke and fire coming from a manager's unit at the hotel, located at 115 El Camino Real. Firefighters arrived at 7:32 p.m. and located the source of the fire inside the first floor apartment, coming primarily from a couch, fire officials said.

Investigators determined the fire had started behind the couch, where there was an electrical outlet with a number of appliances plugged into it, including an air conditioner.

An electrical malfunction caused the outlet to overheat, which resulted in the fire, according to fire officials.

Although the fire did not displace the unit's residents, a tenant who lived in a unit above was displaced by the fire.

The fire caused an estimated $20,000 in structural damage and $5,000 in property damage.

"People right now, because of the heat and humidity, are using air conditioning and portable units," Chief Schapelhouman said. "Those draw a lot of current. If your home isn't wired for that, it can overload your electrical system and that's why you get fires like this."

— Bay City News Service

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