Mountain View Voice

News - March 16, 2012

'Glowing ash' sparked Dana Garden fire

by Nick Veronin

Mountain View fire officials said they believe the four-alarm apartment fire that displaced 50 residents of the Dana Garden apartments was caused by "glowing ash from discarded smoking material."

The fire caused about $1.5 million in damage to the apartment complex, located at 200 E. Dana St., said MVFD spokeswoman Jaime Garrett in a March 9 press release.

The fire in the two-story apartment complex began around 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27, the department said.

No one was severely injured in the fire, but two firefighters suffered minor injuries.

Moving forward

The contractor in charge of repairing the damage caused by the fire said it will be "many months" before all of the units in building C — the block of apartments consumed by the four-alarm blaze — will be inhabitable.

"There will be some significant demolition required," said Jeff Farley, vice president of Four Star Cleaning and Restoration, the Fremont-based contractor hired to repair the damaged apartments.

None of the 26 units in building C are inhabitable right now, Garrett said. The roof collapsed in many of the most-affected units. Seven of the 26 units in Building C have been red-tagged and 19 were yellow-tagged — designations which indicate severe or moderate fire, water or smoke damage.

Farley said that his company will contend with many issues in the restoration process. In addition to damage caused by the fire, heat and smoke, there is also a great deal of water damage, which can result in wood rot and the growth of mold — which may emanate foul odors and, in some instances, may cause health issues.

"You can't close anything back in with moisture in it," Farley said.

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