11/25/12 UPDATED Structure Fire Press Release

Posted: 30-Nov-2012

Moraga-Orinda Fire District
33 Orinda Way
Orinda, CA  94563
Contact: Randy Bradley, Fire Chief, 925-258-4599
Release Date:  November 30, 2012

Orinda, CA – On Sunday, November 25, 2012, the Moraga-Orinda Fire District responded to a residential structure fire at 28 El Gavilan Rd in Orinda. A neighbor was the first to report the fire using her home phone at 6:36 a.m. The first due fire engines were reassigned from another incident and dispatched at 6:39 a.m. and arrived on scene at 6:45 a.m.   There was a short delay (two minutes) in dispatch due to the time it took to reassign the engines from the previous incident.  When fire fighters arrived on scene, they found a two-story single-family residence heavily involved in fire.  The fire originated on the ground floor exterior wooden deck, burned through a large picture window and raced up an interior stairwell when the crackling and the glow of the flames awakened the sleeping residents.   When the first fire engines arrived, the fire had burned through the vaulted ceiling and on through the roof with flames reaching well into the sky.   The Fire District’s initial priority was to ensure all residents exited the home safely and the second priority was to protect the surrounding homes from the fire’s extension. 

Due to the size of the fire, a water supply was established and a large hose line was extended to the rear of the building within six minutes (6:52 a.m.) of fire engines arriving on scene.  A large deck gun mounted on a fire engine was placed in service within eight minutes (6:53 a.m.). The fire was quickly contained to the building of origin but it took several hours to fully extinguish it due to the home’s construction features and significant storage under the subfloor of the residence.

The District continues to receive press inquiries about this incident due to inaccurate information that has been published by local online news sources.  Still pictures, videos, firefighter accounts and audio recordings validate the Fire District’s timelines and associated activities listed in the information below.  The audio recording can be found on MOFD’s website at the following address: www.mofd.org

For additional information, please contact Fire Chief Randy Bradley at (925) 258-4599.

To listen to the audio file, click here (to separate the time stamp sound from the audio, adjust your balance controls)