Two Children Badly Burned in 2-Alarm San Jose Apartment Fire

Two children were burned in a two-alarm apartment fire in San Jose on Thursday morning that also injured one adult.

Fire Capt. Mike Van Elgort described the scene as very "chaotic and dangerous," and credited two neighbors for their heroic efforts in trying to save the children from harm.

The two children, a boy and a girl who are about 12 or 13 years old, jumped out of a second story window from the complex in the 1900 block of Story Road, he said.

Both suffered second-degree burns or worse, with burns across a large part of their bodies, Van Elgort said. A third person, an adult, suffered from smoke inhalation.

The fire broke out at 8:05 a.m. and was knocked down about 8:30 a.m.

Fire officials said the blaze started at a stove top, but do not know if it was an accident or a wiring issue.

Two neighbors tried to help as best they could.

Juan Carlos Gonzales, 18,  was sleeping at the time and broke the glass with his fist and a tool to get inside and put out the fire.

"It was hella smoky," he said.

Julio Lopez, 27, also was there. He heard a mother screaming "my kids, my kids."

When he and Gonzales started to look for the children, and break down the door to the apartment, they realized that the children had already jumped out of the window.

"We're all neighbors and we don't want anything bad to happen to each other," he said.

Both Lopez and Gonzales were able to knock down the fire before fire crews arrived.

"Those good Samaritans are heroes," Van Elgort said. "They really did assist us in our jobs and we appreciate it."

The mother late Thursday was recovering from smoke inhalation. Her children are also being treated in the burn unit with serious injuries.

A GoFundMe site has been established to help raise money for the children’s medical care.

NBC Bay Area's Damian Trujillo and Shawn Murphy contributed to this report.

Contact Us