Two Found Dead in Palo Alto House Fire

By Vince Cestone
|  Saturday, Jan 11, 2014  |  Updated 7:58 PM PDT
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Two people are dead after a fire damaged a home in Palo Alto, according to authorities. NBC Bay Area's Cheryl Hurd reports from the scene in Palo Alto.

Two people are dead after a fire damaged a home in Palo Alto, according to authorities. NBC Bay Area's Cheryl Hurd reports from the scene in Palo Alto.

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Two people are dead after a fire damaged a home in Palo Alto, according to authorities.

The fire was reported at around 7:24 p.m. at 988 Embarcadero Rd. Smoke could be seen from all sides of the house, and the fire spread up to the attic, according to fire crews.

The house is located in an upscale area with million-dollar homes.

Palo Alto police said the fire has been contained, and no other structures have been damaged.

Neighbor Mike Kelly was relieved to find out that it wasn’t his home that caught fire Friday evening. So, his attention quickly turned toward his neighbors whom he says he hasn't seen in a long time.

"Donnie? I think he's about 58-57," Kelly said. "The guy staying with him about the same age. Donnie was a Vietnam War vet. I think he’s been pretty sick. I haven’t seen him for a while.”

The fire was called in by a neighbor just before 7:30 p.m. When crews arrived, smoke and flames were shooting from the roof.

"They found that half the home was fully involved," Deputy Fire Chief Catherine Capriles said. "The kitchen and the upper area, the other half was uninhabitable due to smoke.”

Two bodies were found inside the home. Fire crews tried to save one of the victims by dragging him outside, but it was too late.

"The investigation is early," Zach Perron of the Palo Alto Police Department said. "It is ongoing. The Santa Clara Arson Task Force will work in conjunction,...along with the Palo Alto police Dept. and Fire Dept., to investigate the cause and origin of this fire and what happened."

The deputy fire chief believes the fire started in the kitchen. Fire officials said the home was in poor condition with a lot of boxes and newspapers inside which made the fire difficult to fight.

"The home was in fairly poor condition before the fire began," Capriles said. "The fire enhanced that,...made it worse.”

An investigation as to what may have sparked the fire is expected to happen Sunday.

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