News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Double-Fatal House Fire Determined to be Accidental
Contact : Zach Perron, Lieutenant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA -- The Friday night fire that claimed two lives at a residence on Embarcadero Road has been ruled accidental.

Personnel from the Palo Alto Fire Department and officers from the Palo Alto Police Department responded to the report of flames coming from a home in the 900 block of Embarcadero Road at about 7:16 p.m. on Friday, January 10, 2014.  Firefighters made entry into the home and were able to get the blaze controlled after about 10 minutes, and in so doing, prevented the fire from spreading or damaging any additional residences.  Firefighters discovered two bodies inside the home.

The Santa Clara County Arson Task Force, in conjunction with investigators from the Palo Alto Police Department and the Palo Alto Fire Department, examined the scene over the weekend in an effort to determine the cause and origin of the fire.  Investigators found the origin in the kitchen, and have classified the fire as accidental.  Due to extensive fire damage and the presence of two possible ignition sources (an electrical appliance and possible cigarette smoking materials) found in the area of the fire's origin, investigators were unable to determine the exact cause or ignition source.

Local public safety agencies routinely solicit the assistance of the Santa Clara County Arson Task Force, who are experts in scene management, fire cause determination, fire behavior, and incident documentation, to assist in the investigation of fatal house fires.

Personnel at the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office examined both decedents earlier today.  While the full results of their investigation remain pending, they have determined that there is no indication of homicide or suicide.

No information about the identities of the decedents will be released by the Palo Alto Police Department.  All inquiries about their identities should be directed to the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office.