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Machine shop blaze goes to six alarms in Redwood City
January 18, 2014, 05:00 AM Staff and wire report

Photo courtesy of the Redwood City Fire Department
Firefighters responded to a fire at 894 Douglas Ave. at about 5:50 a.m. Friday.

A six-alarm fire at a machine shop in Redwood City Friday morning spread to four nearby buildings and displaced 16 residents, a fire marshal said.

Firefighters responded to the blaze at 894 Douglas Ave. at about 5:50 a.m., according to a San Mateo County fire dispatcher.

FMW Machine Shop is located at that address.

Firefighters contained the fire as of about 9:15 a.m. and had it under control by 10:30 a.m., Redwood City Fire Marshal Jim Palisi said.

Before firefighters could contain the massive blaze, it spread to a nearby apartment building, causing “significant” damage, Palisi said.

The displaced residents who lived in the building received aid from the American Red Cross, he said.

One firefighter injured his hand but there were no other injuries, according to city officials.

Damage to the machine shop was extensive, including the collapse of the building’s roof, Palisi said.

The fire also spread to three nearby industrial businesses, he said.

All streets within a one-block radius of the fire remained closed to traffic late into the morning, city spokeswoman Sheri Costa-Batis said.

The San Mateo County Health System advised residents to stay indoors during the blaze to avoid exposure to smoke.

An inspector from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District was at the scene of the fire for most of the morning to monitor the air quality in the area, district spokesman Tom Flannigan said.

San Mateo County is a “boundary drop” county, meaning that when a fire occurs, fire departments from across the County are called to assist. Redwood City firefighters were the first to arrive on scene as Redwood City has the closest fire station to the FMW Machine Shop.

“For Redwood City to endure four fires since the summer of 2013, and now a fifth in unincorporated San Mateo County is hard to come to terms with,” said Redwood City Manager Bob Bell. “We know the area, especially in this dry weather, is seeing a lot of fires, but our community definitely feels overburdened.”

With several recent arson fires in Santa Clara County, the city has received questions about links between fires and suspicious activity. However, Redwood City Fire Chief Jim Skinner said there is no reason to believe the fires from the past several months are linked in any way.

Based on California state law, buildings built before 1980 are not required to have sprinklers. The building in Friday’s blaze did not have fire sprinklers and its owners were not required to install them, according to city officials.



Tags: county, redwood, fires, blaze, mateo, machine,

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