SAN JOSE (KRON) — Four people were displaced Monday night after a two-alarm fire that was fueled by a gas leak destroyed their East San Jose home, according to San Jose Fire Department Captain Christopher Salcido.
A resident making fried chicken on a backyard patio led to the fire in which flames spread to gas tanks, trees and power lines in East San Jose on Monday night, a fire department spokesman said on Tuesday.
The fire was happening near Story Road and South White Road. Neighboring houses were evacuated as a precaution.
The address of the house fire is in the 14000 block of Lieb Court.
When crews first arrived they found a one-story home on fire that extended to large trees, according to Salcido.
Firefighters said a gas meter caught fire. The flames could not be put out until PG&E shut off the line.
A gas leak was fueling the fire, firefighters said. The fire department has since shut off the gas line.
Forty-eight ambulance and fire personnel were on-scene. And 20 police officers were also on-scene, along with six fire engines.
Firefighters were streaming water on neighboring houses to prevent the flames from spreading.
Firefighters found gas from propane and acetylene tanks at the backyard were exposed to the fire, resulting in flames shooting as high as 30 feet in the air, the spokesman said.
Over 350 customers’ homes were de-energized for safety, and power is not back on in those homes.
The cause was an accidental cooking fire, and the house has been burned through.
The family inside the home is safe but has been displaced.
Neighbors have been allowed to return to homes as long as they stay inside.
The blaze was under control at about 9:45 p.m.
The fire was caused by a resident using a deep pan to fry chicken in oil on the backyard patio, Salcido said.
Four adults who lived at the home safely evacuated and found assistance through other family members, Salcido said.
A firefighter who suffered a heat-related injury was transported to a hospital and released, according to Salcido.
The blaze spread to a shed behind the affected home, which sustained significant damage, according to Salcido.
One neighbor attempted to extinguish the fire after crews arrived to the scene to prevent flames from spreading to his own home while standing next to a downed power line, fire Capt. Mitch Matlow said.
Firefighters dealt with multiple hazards at the same time and created a hectic scene that brought large crowds outside the home, Matlow said.
While it is exciting to watch a fire, the public is advised to view the blaze from a significant distance and move away from smoke, Matlow said.
“It was more complicated than the normal fire. This was an extraordinary fire,” Matlow said.