Four firefighters were injured and a body was found late Sunday in a three-alarm fire at a building in downtown San Jose, according to police and fire officials.
Firefighters and police said the blaze at the Adult Superstore likely was intentionally set. After they extinguished the blaze, firefighters found a body in the basement of the building.
The fire ignited about 5:30 p.m. on East Santa Clara Street between First and Second streets, fire officials said. Police were initially called to the scene on reports of a former employee or disgruntled customer who returned to the business after he was asked to leave.
"He came back and entered the business and set fire to the building in multiple places," San Jose fire Capt. Mitch Matlow said.
On Monday, neighboring business owners said the store had been closed for weeks, and the owner was upset he'd been kicked out.
"I know he was evicted, and they put up a no trespassing sign on his business," Aaron Lopez said. "But prior to that, he had posted his own sign expressing his discontent with police and the sheriff's department."
Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies confirmed they served an eviction notice at the store on Aug. 30 and came back Sept. 5 to enforce it.
State records show for the past two years, the shop had actually been operating under a nonprofit status. Other business owners said they had called police on the store's owner previously because of threats he'd made.
Witnesses Sunday initially told NBC Bay Area they heard what sounded like gunshots from inside the building, but police said no shots were fired. However, police did warn firefighters there was a possibly armed person inside.
Police said later the man was armed with a sledgehammer.
Firefighters evacuated the top floor of the building as well as surrounding businesses.
The injured firefighters were taken to a local hospital, but their conditions were unknown.
The identity of the body was not provided.