The fire district received a report of a fire at the rear of a house in the neighborhood along Alpine Road. An engine arrived on scene at 1:52 p.m. and reported that the fire involved the rear and side of the building and had pushed into the eaves of the home. Firefighters tackled the fire on the outside of the home, and then went inside. While the fire appeared to not have damaged much of the interior space, firefighters found damage in several attic crawl spaces. They had to cut holes in the roof to let the smoke and heat escape and pull down ceilings to extinguish the fire, according to the district.
By 2:20 p.m., the fire was reported to be completely knocked down. Elements that helped the district battle the fire so quickly were the lack of wind, a drone used to fly over the scene, and the fact that it's not yet fire season, fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman said.
Investigators with the fire district later determined that the fire had started near the mechanical and electrical equipment for a swimming pool and hot tub on the property. In addition, there was an earlier report of a PG&E power outage that coincided with the reported time of the incident, which district officials said they were looking into.
Structural damage was estimated at $125,000, and other damages were estimated to be about $32,000.
"We were very fortunate that the fire was quickly called in by the resident," Schapelhouman said.
Man arrested for child pornography
A Redwood City man who worked at Palo Alto schools was arrested April 1 for allegedly possessing and distributing child pornography.
Alex Jessup, 32, was placed into custody after the sheriff's Detective Bureau received a tip from the Internet Crimes Against Children task force about child pornography associated with his address on Feb. 2, the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office said in a press release.
On April 1, detectives served a search warrant on his home in Redwood City's Emerald Hills neighborhood after an investigation. They recovered what they said are allegedly several pornographic images from his computer and phone. He was arrested away from his home on suspicion of possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography.
Jessup was actively seeking employment as a teacher, coach and babysitter, the Sheriff's Office said.
His LinkedIn and Facebook profiles list jobs at various schools and programs over the past decade, including the Palo Alto Unified School District, Keys School, Palo Alto Family YMCA, Avid4Adventure, CCLC and the Palo Alto Family YMCA.
Jessup previously lived in Palo Alto, according to his Facebook profile.
Superintendent Don Austin said information on Jessup's LinkedIn page regarding his employment at Palo Alto Unified School District is inaccurate. Anne Le, school district director of classified human resources, confirmed that Jessup was an hourly campus supervisor who worked from Aug. 16, 2017, to Nov. 30, 2018. Every employee and volunteer goes through U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation background checks before they are allowed on campus, she said.
The Sheriff's Office is conducting an ongoing investigation and is encouraging anyone who has information about Jessup to contact Detective Wang at 650-363-4055 or email at [email protected]
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