Raging Fire Leaves SJ Seniors Homeless

Several people were rescued by neighbors even before firefighters arrived.

Monday, Jan 9, 2012  |  Updated 8:13 PM PDT
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Several older people have no place to stay tonight after a fire destroys their home.

Several older people have no place to stay tonight after a fire destroys their home.

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Sixteen residents were displaced by a three-alarm fire at a large  apartment complex in San Jose early this morning, fire officials said.

The fire completely destroyed four units of the eight-unit  building, and left the other apartments with smoke and fire damage, said San  Jose fire Capt. Mike Van Elgort.

Firefighters responded to reports of the fire near the corner of  Madden Avenue and North Capitol Avenue at 1:45 a.m.

When they arrived, firefighters found that the fire had already  spread to multiple floors of the building, Van Elgort said.

Firefighters had controlled the fire by 3 a.m., but as of 4:30  a.m. were still on the scene doing clean up work.

Five residents of the building were treated for injuries including  minor burns, but no one was seriously injured, Van Elgort said.

Van Elgort said that he was grateful that no one was fatally  injured. "A large fire in an apartment complex especially in the middle of  the night is always a dangerous situation," he said.

The fire caused between $600,000 and $750,000 in damage, Van  Elgort said.

He said the displaced residents, who are primarily seniors, are  being assisted with temporary shelter by the Red Cross.

Firefighters had not yet determined the cause of the fire as of  early this morning.

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