San Jose

4-Alarm Fire at Auto Shop Creates “Chemical Soup”: San Jose Fire

San Jose firefighters put out a four-alarm fire Tuesday morning at an auto detailing shop, where toxic chemicals spilled out of the building and hazmat crews need to figure out how to get rid of it.

"It's green, it's foamy, it's nasty," said San Jose Fire Capt. Mike Van Elgort, describing the mess as "chemical soup."

Firefighters suspect the chemicals may contain sulfuric acid, but they aren't sure.

The contaminated runoff water spewed out of the auto detailing business in the 400 block of Reynolds Circle, after the fire broke about closed to 12:30 a.m. The fire was eventually downgraded to two alarms.

About 100 firefighters battled the blaze, which was contained about 2 a.m. All had to be decontaminated. No injuries were reported.

The industrial block surrounding the company was closed as crews worked to determine the nature of the chemicals. Caterer John Tuohy said he lost a lot of business and hopefully he can get back to work on Wednesday.

Clear Harbors Environmental Services will work through the day and possibly until Tuesday evening to finish cleaning up the mess.

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