Evacuations, what you need to know – NBC Bay Area

A massive fire in a building under construction forced evacuations Monday in Redwood City.

More than five hours after the fire started, firefighters were able to contain the fire to the original structure, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.

No injuries were reported in the fire, which also triggered an air quality advisory: Wind was expected to push smoke across the peninsula and into San Jose.



Aerial footage shows what remains of a building under construction in Redwood City after it caught fire.

Aerial coverage from NBC Bay Area’s SkyRanger Monday afternoon showed the destroyed construction site after flames engulfed the building.

The fire was first reported at 10:15 a.m. in the 2700 block of Middlefield Road and resulted in eight alarms, fire officials said. Because the building was not fully constructed, it was more difficult to fight, according to Menlo Park Conservation District Chief Mark Lorenzen.

“Any time you have a building under construction, there is no fire system, no sprinklers, no firewall and just wood so it can burn quickly like a fireplace,” said Lorenzen.

Evacuations were ordered for those between Pacific Avenue and Calvin Avenue, then extended to residents living on Dumbarton Avenue.



Menlo Park Fire Protection District Chief Mark Lorenzen provides an update on Monday’s massive eight-alarm fire that ravaged a building under construction in Redwood City.

About 200 people were evacuated and nearly 100 construction workers self-evacuated, Lorenzen said.

Some evacuees are finally being allowed to return to their homes, officials said Monday afternoon.

Several evacuation centers have been set up for those affected:

The North Fair Oaks Library, Fair Oaks Community Center and Veterans Memorial Senior Center will provide services at varying times. The North Fair Oaks Library will remain open until 8 p.m. and the Fair Oaks Community Center will remain open until 5 p.m.



Scott McGrew describes how quickly flames spread through a building under construction in Redwood City.

Classes at Garfield Community School on Middlefield Road were suspended for the day, according to a spokesperson for the Redwood City School District. Parents are advised to pick up their children, authorities said.

“Due to smoke from a fire on Middlefield Road, we are immediately closing the school for the safety and well-being of our students and staff. We want to assure you that everyone is well and safe at school,” school officials said.

According to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, the fire started on the fifth floor of the building. Lorenzen said the wind quickly spread the flames and embers into the building.



San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa said Monday’s massive fire that destroyed an affordable housing structure under construction was “tragic” and a “setback” for the community.

San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa said the 179-unit building has been instrumental in the area’s growth. The building, when completed, would have served as an affordable housing structure, Canepa said.

Construction of this adorable $155 million housing project is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2025.

Caltrain service was also suspended in Redwood City while crews battled the fire, officials said.

The cause of the fire is unknown and is currently under investigation, authorities said.



Redwood City resident Christine Tran recounts how she was evacuated after a fire in Redwood City burned down a building under construction.



Firefighters were battling a massive fire at a building under construction in Redwood City on Monday.

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