San Mateo County Fire Chiefs News

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The back-to-school season is a good time for administrators to review emergency plans with staff and for parents to review safety rules with their children. This fall, the Big Five is rolling out in schools throughout the county.

The San Mateo County Office of Education has been working in partnership with the San Mateo County Sheriff, the Office of Emergency Services, the San Mateo County Police Chiefs and Sheriff Association, and a community Emergency Response Task Force to create a standardized set of protocols for emergency response in schools.

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Menlo Park Fire Protection District responded to a townhouse fire in the Sharon Park area of Menlo Park on July 16th.  The fire went to 5 alarms, which included 17 engines, and 5 trucks.  There was a total of 87 firefighters from fire departments in Menlo Park, Woodside, Belmont-San Carlos, and San Mateo County. The first in engine company on the scene tried to fight the fire from the inside, but had to back out due to temperatures exceeding 500 degrees at floor level.  Two firefighters suffered minor burn injuries during this inside attack (see photo of one firefighter's face mask which began to fail because of the extreme heat).  The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


On April 29, 2009, San Mateo Fire and Police responded to a residential dwelling fire at 2810 Hosmer in San Mateo.  While units were enroute, additional calls were received for heavy smoke from the residence.

San Mateo’s first fire Engine was on scene four minutes after dispatch.  Upon arrival, firefighters reported a working fire and requested a second alarm.  The adjacent home at 2816 Hosmer, located just east of the involved structure also caught fire and sustained minor damage.    Three people were displaced as a result of the fire.  No injuries were reported as a result of the fire. Red Cross provided assistance for overnight amenities for the displaced family.

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On Wednesday, March 4th, Central County Fire Department responded to a structure fire in our downtown area of Burlingame. The building is a 3-story residential hotel above a commercial business. Upon E-34’s arrival, the building fire alarm system was activating and a sprinkler head was activated in an individual unit on the 3rd floor. Fire damage was limited to this one unit. The area of origin was identified against the west wall of this unit, around an electrical outlet near the floor. A burn pattern was observed around the bed, which was situated directly up against the west wall and electrical outlet. This particular outlet was severely burned, with several partially burned cords connected into it. Several multi-outlet adapters were used throughout the unit – daisy-chained to one another and providing electricity to many appliances in the room. The circuit breaker to this unit was found in the “tripped” position. 

All occupants safely evacuated the building and there was minimal smoke, fire, and water damage to the building.

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The following joint statement was issued today by FIRESCOPE and the Governor's Blue Ribbon Fire Task Force, The two groups consist of local fire chiefs from throughout California, the CAL FIRE director and officials from federal agencies, along with organizations representing rank-and-file firefighters.

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