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Fire Erupts in Paly Construction Area

Homeless encampment goes up in flames, causes major construction setback.

Heavy flames and smoke charred a fenced construction area at Thursday morning, ruining a set of special pipes designated for new buildings, Fire Department Batallion Chief Chris Woodard said.

Firefighters responded to reports of flames at 5:23 a.m. at Paly, and Engine 6 arrived to find ablaze the construction yard bordering Embarcardero Road and the bike path.

A homeless encampment had caught fire and the flames had spread to the construction area, said Woodard.

Inside that area were pipes that had just arrived from Texas, designed to carry chilled water to various new buildings for cooling. The loss of the pipes will cause “significant delay” in the construction of the buildings, according to the construction manager.

The flames were knocked down within 25 minutes of arrival, said Woodard, and did not spread beyond the homeless encampment or the construction yard. Damage is estimated at about $100,000, and no structures were damaged.

No injuries were reported by fire personnel.

The response from Palo Alto Fire included Engines 1, 3, 6, Rescue-2, Truck-6, Medics and the Battalion Chief -6.

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GMK May 25, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Anyone who walks or bikes past/through Paly has seen these encampments. How could the authorities be OK with this? I have compassion for their situation but these encampments are safety hazards and this was clearly an accident waiting to happen.
DSB May 25, 2012 at 04:36 PM
A homeless encampment at a high school? Does anyone care about the safety of our kids?
TGD May 25, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Maybe you could have them move in with you.

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