Suspicious Two-Alarm Fire On El Camino Real

The Tropicana Lodge, closed for at least one year, suffered damage to easternmost side of building, and drew fire units from Mountain View, Los Altos and Palo Alto.


Fire crews from three cities responded to a two-alarm fire this evening at a vacant hotel in Mountain View.

The site of the fire, the Tropicana Lodge at 1720 El Camino Real, has been closed for more than a year and has been used for Mountain View Fire Department's training program. The building also had no utilities, confirmed MVFD spokeswoman Jaime Garrett.

The department arrived on scene at 6:36 p.m. within four minutes of receiving the call and immediately called a the second-alarm, which activated the mutual aid assistance from Palo Alto and Santa Clara County Fire's Los Altos unit.

As a result of the holes in the roof put in place by the MVFD in training, the Sunday evening fire and smoke escaped upward, a fire fighter on the scene explained, and not horizontally through the attached attic. This assisted the fire crews.

However, the fire still spread horizontally because of the lack of doors and the holes in the walls in the building.

According to a fire fighter, the structure burned on both the front and backside of the easternmost side of the building.

The deputy fire marshal arrived on scene to investigate and told Patch that police has received reports of people entering and leaving the fenced property. However, he couldn't arrive at any conclusion about this evening before he complete his investigation.

The Mountain View Police Department closed all westbound lanes of El Camino Real between Mariposa and Escuela avenues due to the fire, causing some back-ups on Latham Street at Rengstroff Avenue.

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Martha Gaines April 30, 2013 at 10:47 PM
This place is an eye sore on El Camino. It's just beckoning for people to hang out and get into mischief. It's so easy to climb the fence. Why does it just sit there like that? At least post an official sign that states it's MVFD property.


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