Three fires in San Jose destroy two homes, cause $1M in damage to asphalt plant

Three early morning fires in San Jose destroyed two homes, killed two dogs and caused $1 million in damage to an asphalt plant, a San Jose fire spokeswoman said.

The first fire was reported at 3:51 a.m. at Reed and Graham, an asphalt production company at 690 Sunol St., near Interstate Highway 280.

The one-alarm blaze caused more than $1 million in damage and disabled a mixing unit, which San Jose fire Capt. Debbie Ward said will affect the company’s production.

Shortly after 5 a.m., firefighters were called to 921 Rockdale Drive, where a two-alarm fire was burning at a home.

Ward said a resident was woken up by his dog barking and saw smoke coming from a door that leads from the kitchen to the garage. He opened the door and found a small fire, which he tried to put out with a fire extinguisher.

The fire extinguisher didn’t work, so he closed the door to the kitchen, opened the garage door and battled the flames with a garden hose, Ward said.

However, his wife then reopened the kitchen door, causing the fire to spread suddenly and burn out of control, Ward said.

The man, his wife and their son were able to escape but the home was destroyed, she said. The couple suffered minor injuries but refused treatment.

Firefighters were still at the scenes of those two fires when a larger blaze was reported at 910 Del Monte Place at 5:22 a.m.

Ward said a woman was coming home from walking one of her dogs when she heard a loud boom. She put the dog back inside the house, where she thought it was safer, but then saw smoke coming from the garage and called 911, Ward said.

Because they were busy with the other fires, it took firefighters about 10 minutes to arrive, which Ward said is “way outside” the department’s target response time.

The house was engulfed in flames when they got there, and firefighters focused on preventing the blaze from spreading to adjacent homes, Ward said.

Firefighters were still trying to extinguish the three-alarm fire shortly before 8 a.m.

Ward said it appears the woman’s two dogs, a Weimaraner and a Rottweiler, died in the blaze.

She said the loud boom the woman heard may have been caused by a ruptured gas line.

PG&E crews have arrived at the scene, and Ward said about a dozen households were without gas service Thursday morning.

Other than the dogs that perished, no injuries were reported in any of the three blazes.

Ward said the department hopes to have fire crews wrap up their response to all three fires soon.

“What they have to do now is try to release the equipment as quickly as we can because we’re running so short,” she said.

“It’s difficult, especially for our dispatchers, to try to cover everything,” Ward said. “We’re going to do the best we can.”

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