Fried chicken cooking on a patio sparked a two-alarm fire that destroyed a home and prompted the evacuation of an entire block in East San Jose on Monday night, according to a fire spokesman.
The fire started just after 7 p.m., burning a home on the corner of White Road and Lieb Court. Eight homes were evacuated and remained empty overnight, San Jose fire Capt. Mitch Matlow said.
"When the first engine got here, they called for a second alarm," Matlow said. "We had a gas-fed fire; the gas meter was on fire. We had fire jetting out, and the flames were burning under pressure."
The power pole and electrical wires that feed the entire neighborhood were also on fire, Matlow said. About 50 firefighters were on hand to deal with a potential explosion.
Meanwhile, PG&E crews were unable to stop the gas flow until fire crews dealt with the electrical fire.
"The gas was coming out, and it was burning," Matlow said. "We don’t know if it was cause or effect or spread to there."
Malissa Alexander Garcia saw a thick cloud of black smoke and started shooting it with her cellphone.
"I saw the flames start ... and told the kids look there’s a fire," Garcia said, adding that it was on a street she had a personal connection to. "My uncle lives on that court; I wanted to make sure he’s OK."