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


PRESS RELEASE 09/24/2009
Subject :

Two-Alarm Fire at 420 Emerson Contained
Contact : Barbara Cimino, Public Information Officer, Fire Department    6500-444-6267

Palo Alto, CA – At approximately 2:30 PM, a restaurant management reported a fire at 420 Emerson, the location of Evvia Estiatorio. Evacuation of occupants was effected prior to the arrival of the responding Fire Department units. The fire was confined to the ceiling and roof assembly areas. Fire response personnel attacked the fire from above and below the ceiling, and ventilated the roof area. The seat of the fire was located by using a thermal imaging camera. Immediate action on the part of the management and employees enabled a safe and calm evacuation of staff and customers with no injuries to the patrons.  

Palo Alto’s response included 3 Engine Companies, a Rescue unit and Battalion Chief. Mutual aid assistance was provided from neighboring fire agencies including Menlo Park, Mountain View, and Santa Clara County. A total of 25 personnel responded to the incident, including the Palo Alto Fire Deputy Chief and Public Information Officer. Emerson Street was closed to traffic between University and Lytton Avenues. The fire was brought under control in approximately 30 minutes. There was extensive smoke and moderate water damage to the interior of the restaurant and extensive damage to the roof’s structural members.

Utilities Department, Building Department, Fire Investigation, and Santa Clara County Public Health officials responded to the scene. The Palo Alto Police Department provided traffic control and scene safety. There was minimal smoke extension and no fire spread into the adjoining buildings, and they are expected to remain open for business. City of Palo Alto Building Inspection personnel are working with the restaurant management personnel to keep them informed of the process regarding the initiation of the permit/repair process. The restaurant is anticipated to remain closed for several weeks and possibly longer.

Initial damage is estimated by Building Officials at approximately $200,000 to the structure and contents. Fire investigators will remain on scene to determine the cause of the fire.