Firefighters find one man dead after explosion, fire

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A spokesman for the Menlo Park Fire Protection District has confirmed one fatality at a residence that went up in flames early this morning.

Firefighters discovered the male victim at a two-story house at 825 Berkeley Ave. in Menlo Park after responding to what was originally a medical call, Menlo Park Fire Protection District Chief Harold Schapelhouman said.

The first call came in around 1:29 a.m., and following calls from neighbors reported the incident as a tree fire, then an explosion, then a vehicle fire, and then a structure fire, Schapelhouman said.

Schapelhouman said the first firefighters arrived on scene at 1:34 a.m. to find a fully involved structure fire. The fire was raised from one to two-alarm at approximately 1:40 a.m.

Firefighters had the fire controlled by roughly 2 a.m., Schapelhouman said.

The fire burned through the majority of the building, but firefighters were able to enter an unburned portion on the first floor where they discovered the victim dead at the scene, Schapelhouman said.

There were no other injuries reported.

According to reports from neighbors, Schapelhouman said, the resident at the house that went up in flames had a girlfriend, but they reported that her car was not in the driveway.

Schapelhouman said the department had about 40 personnel at the scene. Two investigators plus the fire marshal are currently investigating the official cause of the fire.

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