A car being pursued by police crashed into a home in South San Jose late Friday night, severing a gas line and sparking a fire that destroyed one house and damaged another.
San Jose police said an officer noticed a car driving without its headlights on Vistapark Drive near Branham Lane just before midnight.
Police said as the officer made a u-turn and attempted to conduct a vehicle stop, the vehicle with the headlights out made an immediate right on Bluefield Drive, lost control and crashed into two homes.
San Jose fire Capt. Scott Ackemann told Bay City News a four-door sedan lost control and barreled into at least one of the homes, rupturing the gas line and starting the fire.
Officers, who were immediately on the scene, rescued four occupants of the vehicle and evacuated both houses.
No one was injured in the residences.
It took fire personnel several hours to put out the fires.
The vehicle had been stolen, according to police. Its occupants were all juveniles. The driver was booked into Juvenile Hall. One of the juvenile passengers was transported to a local area hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries. The other two passengers were released to their guardians at the scene. An officer was injured during the emergency evacuation. He was transported to a local area hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries then released.
Fire crews arrived in six minutes but initially had trouble stopping the flow of gas because the line broke at a spot beyond where the shutoff valve is, rendering the valve useless, Ackemann said.
"The gas was a big concern, there was free-flowing gas," he said. The flames destroyed one home and caused significant damage to the other, he said.
Some pet fish in one house survived and a dog in a kennel at the other home was also safe, he said. PG&E and police also responded to the scene.