Child Dies in San Jose Fire

An 8-year-old girl was killed in one of three separate residential  fires in San Jose early this morning, a fire spokeswoman said.  The girl, identified by the coroner's office as Adileni Gomez Macedo, was from Durham, N.C. and was in town on a summer trip.

The fatal fire was reported at 1:42 a.m. at an apartment building  at 1671 Hamilton Ave., near Meridian Avenue.

Responding firefighters found the girl in a back bedroom of an  apartment and pulled her out, fire Capt. Debbie Ward said. She was taken to  Santa Clara Valley Medical Center where she succumbed to her injuries at  about 2:45 a.m.

Two adults and five children were inside the apartment when the  fire started, and most were able to evacuate on their own, Ward said.

"There were seven people in it at the time, and from what I  understand there was a family visiting from out of town," Ward said.

In addition to the  girl, eight others were taken to  hospitals, mostly for smoke inhalation and some for scrapes and bumps, she  said. None of those injuries were serious.

More than 50 firefighters battled the blaze, and had it controlled  shortly after 2:10 a.m., Ward said.

She said most of the damage was confined to the apartment where  the fire started but that some other units sustained smoke damage.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

The American Red Cross is assisting six displaced families  consisting of more than 20 people, said Cynthia Shaw, spokeswoman for the Red  Cross Silicon Valley Chapter.

Red Cross volunteers were at the apartment building this morning  providing food, blankets, clothing and debit cards to the fire victims, she  said.

She said mental health specialists have also been sent to the  scene to help the victims deal with the emotional trauma. Ward said some of  the people taken to hospitals were "hysterical."

Shaw said some of the displaced residents will stay with friends  but that the Red Cross will set up others with lodging at a local hotel.

About an hour after the Hamilton Avenue blaze was reported,  firefighters got a call about a second fire at a duplex at 1672 Whitton Ave.,  near South King Road.

Crews responded and had the two-alarm fire controlled in about 20  minutes, Ward said.

Both units of the duplex were empty when the fire started and no  injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is still unclear.

Then, at about 4:20 a.m., firefighters were called to a third  blaze, this one a stovetop fire at the Miranda Villa Senior Apartments at  2094 Forest Ave., near O'Connor Hospital.

The fire tripped the building's fire alarm, and about 150  residents were evacuated while firefighters extinguished the two-alarm blaze  then checked the building to make sure it was safe to let people back in,  Ward said.

One person - the adult who lives in the unit where the fire burned  - suffered from smoke inhalation but there were no other injuries, Ward said.

Residents were let back into the building about an hour and a half  after fire crews arrived, Ward said.

Ward said the three blazes underscore the need to keep the city's  fire stations operating.

"All of this starts happening right when they're closing fire  stations," Ward said. She said closures are scheduled to start Aug. 1.

"You can imagine it's going to be hard to cover the rest of the  city when we have this many fires going," she said.

Bay City News

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