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November 23, 2013



Yikes, ' away a few days, our trees are under siege and downtown is burning (!)

Darn those space heaters-- thank you to the baker who noticed this in the middle of the night, and to the firefighters who battled the blaze. The charred home on the right (1214) is the home of a Burlingame pioneer family -the Gates' home, turn of the century. It was probably only about 15 years young when Burlingame Avenue became more commercial, and it was rolled back from its original location on Burlingame Avenue (current Pottery Barn) and replaced with the Gates' Garden Theatre (also burned down). I hope it can be saved, and I hope the city has the ability to let the owner use the Historic Building code so that it doesn't become burdensome to the owner to put back together.


From today's DJ:

An apartment complex and the historical Gates House sustained an estimated $2 million and $250,000, respectively, in damages from a four-alarm fire in Burlingame this weekend, said Central County Fire Marshal Rocque Yballa.

A floor heater appears to be the source of the fire near downtown Burlingame early Saturday morning around 3:49 a.m. The Fire Department believes combustible items near a floor heater on the first floor of the two-story building were the cause. The apartment complex, at 1218 Donnelly Ave., is red tagged, meaning it’s not safe for human occupancy, Yballa said.

“That doesn’t mean it can’t be salvaged,” Yballa said. “It needs to go through assessment by engineers to see if they can save or not. It could take months. Saving it or not depends upon if the owner of the building wants to try to retain it.”

The other building at 1214 Donnelly Ave. was formerly occupied by G.W. Gates, the city’s first stationmaster and postmaster, according to a 2008 inventory of historic resources by the Carey & Co. architecture firm. He constructed the drug store and post office on a parcel now adjacent to the Bank of Burlingame on California Drive. The space is occupied by the mobile accelerator Tandem Entrepreneurs Management Services, which is moving to a 1813 El Camino Real property and a 1220 Donnelly Ave. space for the time being, said Ron Evans, Tandem’s director of finance. The company’s three-year lease at 1214 Donnelly Ave., to the east of 1218 Donnelly Ave., expires in July 2015, he said.



Great human interest angle in the Daily Journal today on this story. Here's a little bit with the link at the bottom:

Sixty-five-year old Louis Marlin Jr. was on a cruise in Europe when he found out his Burlingame home of 39 years had burned down.

Just before Thanksgiving, at 3:49 a.m. Nov. 23, Marlin’s apartment, at the 1200 block of Donnelly Avenue near downtown Burlingame was part of a four-alarm blaze that badly damaged both his building and a commercial building next door, according to Central County Fire Marshal Rocque Yballa.

Marlin, who is deaf, found out about the fire through an email sent to the leader of his trip one morning at breakfast in Rome.

“At first I was shocked,” he said through an interpreter. “Then I was worried, thinking about all the valuable things [I lost]. I was so unsettled and couldn’t sleep well.”

Now he is disappointed, but glad to be alive.

“In some ways I felt the house was mine,” he said. “I loved the stairway because it kept me in shape — I was getting a little bit thick in the middle. I loved the view and watched people go by and of course I would flirt sometimes with the girls going by. One of the most important things I thought of was my life. I would have died for sure if I was not on vacation since I’m a heavy sleeper.”



Four years later, things are not looking good for the restoration of the Gates house.


The sad end of this sad story is here. The Gates house is gone never to return.


What a shame.


From the DJ:

The Burlingame Planning Commission will consider Tuesday, Oct. 9, a plan to rebuild the former Gates House site at 1214 Donnelly Ave., into a new mixed-use development.

The land near downtown where the Gates House was formerly located is slated to be rebuilt into a new three-story project with commercial space on the ground floor and 14 units spread across the top two stories.

According to the new vision for the site, the ground floor will likely be designed to accommodate a restaurant or retail space. Twelve two-bedroom units and two one-bedroom units are slated to occupy the top floors, and 23 parking spaces will be provided on site for patrons, workers and residents in a stacking mechanism. The units will range in site from 525 square feet to 1,040 square feet, according to a city report.



There are some unusual coincidence's regarding Fires at two residences this person lived at.
"Just Say'n."

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