Last updateWed, 20 Sep 2017 9am


Fire damages historic Los Altos home

A single-alarm fire Monday (Nov. 25) damaged an Almond Avenue home listed on the city’s Historic Resources Inventory, according to an official with the Santa Clara County Fire Department.

“It looks like it was a power surge,” arson investigator Dennis Johnsen said of what likely caused the fire. “The house was energized way more than normal.”

The fire was reported at approximately 4:30 p.m., shortly after a live power line fell nearby and struck another line spanning the immediate area. Soon after, Johnsen said, a power surge in the home ignited a fire near the basement furnace and spread upward “pretty quickly” to the kitchen and hallway.

An adult male escaped the home uninjured and called 911, Johnsen added. The fire forced fire and police responders to shut down a portion of the street and divert traffic until 9 p.m. Johnsen described damage to the home as “moderate.

He added that the downed line caused a small fire on a separate utility pole. However, Johnsen said he wasn’t ready “to connect the dots” and cite a definitive cause for the house fire because the investigation is ongoing. A call to PG&E for additional information has not been returned.

The damaged home is located at the corner of Beverly Court and Almond, near Santa Clara County Fire Department Station No. 15.

According to Los Altos Historical Commission records, the Spanish Revival-style home – owned by the Marv and Barb D. Emerling Trust – was originally built in 1925 and placed on the city’s Historic Resources Inventory in 2011.

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