Three-alarm fire extinguished at Stanford Medical School building

Hazardous materials team called to scene, blaze found in third-floor room

Firefighters have put out a three-alarm fire at a Stanford Medical School building, where they were faced with a hazardous materials situation later deemed under control this morning, the Fire Department said on Twitter.

Around 7:30 a.m., crews responded to an alarm activated on the third floor of the Edwards building behind the hospital on Pasteur Drive, Deputy Fire Chief Catherine Capriles said.

When crews reached the scene, they found the sprinkler system was on. The fire was contained to a room on the third floor and under control around 8:10 a.m., fire officials said.

The department initially said the incident was at the hospital, but later clarified that it was at a Medical School building and wasn't affecting patients. The hospital and Medical School share the same address and are physically connected.

The hospital's main entrance has been closed for the fire response. Stanford security personnel are guiding patients and visitors to the emergency room entrance on Quarry Road until crews clear from the scene, Capriles said.

They asked for a second-alarm response, which was then quickly upgraded to a third-alarm incident. The area around the fire was evacuated, fire officials said.

Hazardous materials and decontamination teams were called to the scene because the fire was in a laboratory storing biohazardous waste, according to the department.

There were no residual chemicals left after the fire, which burned through the ceiling and burst a water line, Capriles said. The blaze didn't extend to other rooms.

No injuries were reported, Capriles said. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The hazmat situation was declared under control around 10:15 a.m. and crews were starting to cleanup, she said.

About 60 firefighters from Santa Clara and San Mateo counties responded to the incident, according to the department.

The blaze likely started in the fume hood of the lab, but no hazardous materials or chemicals contributed to the fire, Stanford Medical School officials said Monday.

The building's north wing made up of odd-numbered rooms was left with significant water damage. The south side of the building was reopened on Sunday at noon, school officials said.

Faculty and staff who usually work out of the north wing's first floor might able to return to the north wing in the coming days, Niraj Dangoria, associate dean for facilities planning and management at Stanford, said in a news release. Those on the second and third floors may have to wait about a month or so until repairs can be completed.

School officials are finding temporary labs and offices for the displaced employees, Dangoria said.


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7 people like this
Posted by Ron
a resident of another community
on Mar 12, 2017 at 8:12 am

Now a days, most sprinkler buildings keep the fire to one room or contents. Most of the damage is from the smoke and water. The Santa Clara County Fire Department does an outstanding job with inspections and code enforcement of the Stanford campus.

4 people like this
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2017 at 7:43 pm

It may be very nice that Santa Clara County FD does code enforcement on the Stanford Campus but the hospital and medical school are not a part of the campus. The hospital and the medical school building where the fire was are the responsibility of the City of Palo Alto.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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