Firefighters rushed to the scene of the blaze in the 700 block of Sonia Way after the owner of the home called 911 at about 3:30 a.m. on Nov. 11, said Jaime Garrett, spokeswoman for the MVFD. The Palo Alto and Moffett Field fire departments, the Santa Clara County Fire Associates and local law enforcement assisted the MVFD in battling the flames.
The home's owner was told to evacuate by emergency dispatchers when he called them to tell them about the fire. "The fire department arrived on scene at 3:35 a.m." — only five minutes after the initial 911 call — "to find the home fully engulfed in flames," Garrett said in a press release.
Jean Myer, who lives next door to the house that caught fire, said her neighbor might be described as a "hoarder."
"The firefighters said that's why they had trouble knocking down the fire, because there was so much stuff in there," Myer said.
Myer said she was awakened by her cat around the time the fire was starting to grow large. She heard the hissing and crackling of the flames, she said. Soon after that an officer knocked on her door and told her she needed to evacuate.
Though Myer said she didn't know her neighbor well, she said she felt for him. "Losing your home and everything is a terrible tragedy," she said.
The homeowner was displaced by the fire and the Red Cross is helping him in find a short-term shelter.
Investigators said they are still trying to determine the cause of the fire, but multiple local news sources reported that the man initially started the fire in his fireplace, but that the flames accidentally spread into his home.
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