The family was all together, and three extra guests were staying at a San Jose home — 13 people and four dogs in all.
But everyone was abruptly woken up and forced to scramble outside when a fire ripped through the house at 2352 Palmira Way Thursday morning, days away from Christmas.
Everyone except for one dog survived the fire, according to San Jose Fire Battalion Chief Johnny Dellinger.
The fire was knocked down in about 30 minutes, he said, but it did considerable damage to the home and the family’s mood. The family declined to speak and also Red Cross help. But they were so heartbroken by the blaze that firefighters gave them $100 gift card, and helped them bring out presents and personal items to the driveway.
“It’ll break your heart,” Dellinger said seeing the wrapped Christmas presents sitting forlornly by a brick fence outside the charred home.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.