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Firefighters douse house fire in Midtown

Original post made on Sep 30, 2013

A three-alarm fire destroyed a home on the 900 block of Colonial Lane in Palo Alto Monday morning, fully engulfing the two-story wooden structure and sending plumes of thick smoke 100 feet in the sky.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, September 30, 2013, 9:21 AM

Comments (12)

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Posted by McGrude
a resident of another community
on Sep 30, 2013 at 9:51 am

I could see the smoke plume from the Willow Road overpass on 101. I saw it and I knew there was a fire in Palo Alto.


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Posted by Enough!
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 30, 2013 at 10:40 am

I thought the air smelled bad this morning. Sorry to the people who lost their home. :( Glad the first responders are ok.


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Posted by We are all your neighbors
a resident of Green Acres
on Sep 30, 2013 at 11:14 am

Yes, thanks to our firefighters! Glad everyone got out unharmed, including responders.

Those of us who have lost everything in fires and disasters are part of an exclusive club no one wants to be in. It can be very hard to explain to others what it's like.

To their friends and neighbors: even if they have insurance, when you lose everything, it's so incredibly difficult just to get back on your feet because it's so disorienting to lose everything you rely on to lead daily life. Time is critically short. Anything you can do to help them re-establish a normal life as soon as possible will help, because even if they can afford it, there is so incredibly much to do and time is finite. Plus, it's a very emotionally difficult time.

If they are like most people, they will also not think they need so much help, or they may think they will be okay because they have insurance. To this day, I am thankful for the people who still pushed me to choose some offered clothing, saying, believe them, I would need it, and telling me I could donate it back to others when I was done. A relative who had herself been through a fire knew exactly what we needed initially, and sent a care box with things we at first scratched our heads over and then came very quickly to understand and rely on. (A small side table with removable/storable legs, a measuring tape - they'll understand when they start dealing with insurance -- blankets, a tarp, salt and pepper, a pot...)

At one point, an acquaintance who had an apartment near the university but a home somewhere else gave us an entire "kit" of used things to set up a complete functioning kitchen and household. It made such a difference! Then later when the friend of a friend lost everything in another disaster, we boxed most of it up with other things we had ourselves found useful, and sent them to her so she could be instantly functional as well.

All the best for your recovery.


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Posted by Melissa Anderson
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 30, 2013 at 11:40 am

Our house fire was in February 2001. Luckily, no one was hurt and the loss was only to the house and contents. I echo "We are all your neighbors" comments about offering help. Meals, help with transporting kids while the parents deal with all the paperwork, etc. are invaluable in the first few days and weeks. It's also a time of loss for the homeowners to deal with emotionally.

Best thing we did was video tape everything recognizable after the fire and talk on tape about items lost. You can't imagine how time consuming and overwhelming the claims process is - and you only get paid back for items you actually replace in the allotted time.

Great reminder to look at your homeowners policy! Make sure your coverage includes code upgrades, realistic square footage replacement cost (could be ~$300-$400 a square foot!) and make sure you have riders on anything extraordinary like: computers, camera equipment, jewelry, antiques, rugs, artwork, etc. Those items aren't necessarily covered under normal policies.


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Posted by sparky
a resident of another community
on Sep 30, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Thank God we have professional firefighters who take such good care of our community. The brave firefighters (men and women) risk their lives each and every day. Great job!


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Posted by antron
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 30, 2013 at 2:06 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Betty
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 1, 2013 at 7:58 am

I'm still in shock about our tragedy of losing our home, but I'm so Thankful my family was able to get out safely. I grew up in this home and can't believe it's gone~tears. I want to thank all the Firefighters that put their lives on the line to save our home, and who continue to help others in their time of need. I also want to thank our family, friends and neighbors for all your love, prayers and support throughout this most difficult time. Life will never be the same, but we still have our lifes. I can't hold back the tears, but I can still hug my family. Now all we can do is take one step at a time and move forward. Thank you, Betty


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Posted by Charlene
a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2013 at 11:13 am

My prayers go out to all of you. Thank GOD Mary and Paul are OK. If you all need anything, please let me know. I have tried reaching out and hope to hear from you all soon.

I am so lucky to have been a part of this family and what a wonderful family they are. Some of the nicest people I have ever had the privilege of being around. I have fond memories of this house, I remember the sandwich/catering business as well, and they were the best sandwiches in town!

Love you all and GOD bless you all! I am here if you need me.


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Posted by F. L. Wright
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 1, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Good thing it was not an Eichler that burned! There would. to have been any time at all to save a molecule!


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Posted by Pamela Jones
a resident of another community
on Oct 2, 2013 at 12:40 am

To the Jackson's family I am praying for you all, I don't know how it feels in your situation, but I do know God is able and he will work miracles, I am so glad everyone lives were saved by the grace of God. I will be praying for you all and I hope and pray there will be a lot of support near and far to help heal your hurt and pain..Material things are replaceable, unlike lives...It's hard to wake up and everything you've owned is gone..Betty hold on trooper I know you, yourself have been through a lot during this life, but God will work it out....Now it's time to LET GO AND LET GOD!!...HUGS FOR EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU.


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Posted by Roobert Burnes
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 3, 2013 at 12:07 pm

A firefighter knocked on our door and said we had to leave as the house next door was afire. It was with shock and sadness that we watched the firefighters "douse" the Jackson home as they tried to contain the blaze.
There is much too much history in the Jackson/Burnes neighborly relationship of some 40+ years, to even write of it at this time.
We only add that our family is very,very, happy that Mary, Paul and his wife were able to leave the house safely. Our prayers and thoughts are with Mary,Betty, Paul, Barbara and the Extended Jackson family as they deal with the loss of a home.


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Posted by william harris
a resident of another community
on Oct 12, 2013 at 5:47 am

this fire has taken away a lot of good time for me, playing at big momma house all the plum tree big momma had my mother was Mary Jackson aunt she home made jelly out of those plum my dad help Paul sir. add on to the home for me as a child I have long memory of both home sad to hear its all gone love you cousin God will provide away


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