San Jose Firefighter Uninjured After Falling in Booby Trap at Homeless Encampment | NBC Bay Area

San Jose Firefighter Uninjured After Falling in Booby Trap at Homeless Encampment

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    A firefighter putting out a blaze at a San Jose homeless encampment fell into what authorities say was a dangerous booby trap lined with spikes. Terry McSweeney reports. (Published Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015)

    A firefighter putting out a blaze at a San Jose homeless encampment fell into what authorities say was a dangerous booby trap lined with spikes.

    The firefighter was not hurt when he fell Sunday morning at the camp just east of Communications Hill, but authorities say the apparent trap was dangerous and could have injured someone. Officials also say the trap was not aimed at firefighters.

    "Our guess is it had been there for sometime," San Jose Fire Capt. Mike Van Elgort says. "Maybe as a means of defense of on encampment to another."

    And that's exactly what a homeless man named Johnny, who lives not far from Communications Hill, told NBC Bay Area on Tuesday.

    "It's a trap, they fall down," he said. "You hurt them before they hurt you."

    The booby trap, a 2-foot-by-2-foot hole with wooden spikes sticking out of the bottom, was covered by a burlap sack and dirt, so the firefighter had no idea what was underneath, authorities say.

    The fire department says police were notified.

    Investigators have not disclosed who might have placed the trap or why anyone would put it there.