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Archived News Release from 2004

For Immediate Release

Oil-Soaked Rags Blamed for Early Morning Garage Fire in Redwood City

Redwood City, CA - June 3 , 2004 - An early-morning fire on May 31st in Redwood City damaged a detached garage to the rear of a home on Hopkins Avenue . The fire was spotted by neighbors who called 911 to report the fire, and who also alerted the homeowners, who were unaware of a fire burning in their garage.

Redwood City and South County firefighters responded at 8:51 am May 31st. Upon arrival at the Hopkins Avenue home, they found smoke billowing from the garage and fire extending to a second story storage unit above the garage. The fire was quickly attacked and the building searched to make sure no one was inside the burning garage. No one was inside the garage at the time of the fire and no citizens or firefighters were injured. The fire was readily extinguished and was contained to the detached garage. There was an estimated $55,000 in damage to the structure and contents.

The cause of the fire is believed to be from oil-stained rags which were improperly disposed of in the garage. Oil or stain soaked rags are susceptible to igniting on their own when not disposed of properly. Homeowners are reminded to read and follow the directions for use and safe disposal of oil-stained rags when refinishing furniture or hardwood floors. More fire-safety tips can be found online at, and at

The Redwood City Fire Department has five fire stations housing five engines and one truck, and currently has over 70 staff members including firefighters, firefighter/paramedics, captains and battalion chiefs, fire prevention staff, training staff, and administrative staff.

Visit Redwood City 's website at for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, City government, and local business.


On-Duty Battalion Chief or
Gerry Kohlmann, Chief
(650) 780-7400

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