Menlo Park: New lights may have caused Willows house fire


Newly installed lights are suspected in a Menlo Park fire that extensively damaged a home Sunday evening (Sept. 18) and left one woman with minor injuries, according to fire officials.

The fire started at about 6 p.m. in a covered patio attached to the house at 336 Grayson Court, Menlo Park Fire Protection District officials said. The flames then spread to the home, which was unoccupied at the time, and damaged several bedrooms before it could be brought under control by 6:25 p.m.

"After speaking with the family, fire investigators suspect new, recently installed higher wattage lighting bulbs could be to blame," Fire Marshal Jon Johnston said in a statement. "But again, the destruction was so complete, an exact cause was elusive."

A woman who lives at the house, which doubles as a day care during the week, returned home before firefighters arrived; she suffered minor burns to her hands while trying to save several rabbits, one of which died in the fire.

The woman was also treated at the scene for minor smoke inhalation and taken to a hospital as a precaution, according to fire officials.

The fire caused about $300,000 in damage to the contents and structure of the residence, which is home to two adults, two children, a dog and the rabbits, fire officials said.

Firefighters gave the family a $100 debit card to help with recovery costs, fire officials said.

— Bay City News Service

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