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LAH fire ravages Ravensbury Avenue home


Photo By: Above Photo by Diego Abeloos/Town Crier
Photo Above Photo By Diego Abeloos/Town Crier

Santa Clara County firefighters work to extinguish remnants of a blaze, above, in the garage of a Ravensbury home. Plumes of smoke were seen from Interstate 280, below.

Local firefighters extinguished a two-alarm fire Jan. 30 that destroyed nearly half of a Ravensbury Avenue home owned by a local dentist.

According to Santa Clara County Fire Chief Jim Young, the fire started in the garage of the Los Altos home – owned by Los Altos dentist Dr. James Kelly – and quickly spread to the kitchen and attic.

A subsequent report by the Santa Clara County Fire Department noted that a nearby neighbor first reported the blaze at 8:53 a.m. Firefighters had the fire under control by 10:15 a.m., the reported added.

Young said 40-50 percent of the home sustained “significant” damage as a result of the blaze, which caused a 5-gallon propane tank outside the garage to explode.

No one was home at the time of the fire, although Young said responders discovered that the family’s four dogs fled into the backyard and escaped injury when the fire initially broke out.

“They’re all OK,” said Young, who added that an investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

Kelly told the Town Crier he was initially informed of the blaze when a neighbor phoned him at work at approximately 9:15 a.m. He said he has lived in the home with his wife and three children for nine years. The house, he added, was originally built in 1960.

Despite the damage to his home, Kelly said his first concern was the safety of his family and pets.

“That’s more important than anything,” he said. “Property can be replaced, but not human lives.”

Young said four fire engines and two battalion chiefs, as well as single-rescue and hazardous-materials vehicles, responded to the first alarm. Responders sounded a second alarm after the propane tank explosion, the fire report added, sending three additional fire engines as well as another rescue unit and battalion chief to the scene. Altogether, approximately 40 fire personnel responded to the blaze.

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