A boat house at Cooley Landing in East Palo Alto, caught fire on Monday night, bringing four fire engines, two battalion chiefs and a fire truck to squelch the blaze in the remote Baylands.
"It pancake-collapsed before we were able to put water on it. It burned all the way to the ground," he said.
The structure was surrounded by a chain-link fence and was situated beside San Francisco Bay.
The fire scorched 20 feet of vegetation outside the fence, but Shaffer said it did not threaten the Baylands.
Firefighters spent nearly five hours cutting through the collapsed structure to douse hot spots, he said.
The cause of the blaze is unknown and is under investigation.
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