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


Subject :

Early Morning Fire at Friends of Palo Alto Library
Contact : Suzan Minshall, Public Information Officer, Fire Department    (650) 444-6267

Palo Alto, CA - The Palo Alto Fire Department responded to a report of flames showing from the roof of the "Friends of the Palo Alto Library" at 4:37 AM.  The fire was contained and extinguished quickly, limiting the damage to the rear, right area of the building. There were several “hotspots” due to fire extension in the space above the false ceiling requiring extensive overhaul.

It was very fortunate that there were bystanders nearby in the early morning hours and they reported it immediately.  There were a total of 18 Fire Department personnel who responded on Engine 4, Engine 5, Engine 3, Rescue 2, Truck 6, Medic 2, and Battalion 6. The building was unoccupied at the time and there were no injuries reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation although preliminarily, a malfunctioning air conditioning unit is suspected.

The “Friends of the Palo Alto Library” is located at 4000 Middlefield Road.  They occupy several modular buildings to the rear of the campus.  They are a non-profit group that houses and sells 20-30 thousand books each month.  All books are donated and proceeds benefit the Palo Alto Library. They are happy that firefighters arrived quickly and were able to contain the fire as well as salvage the majority of the contents.