San Jose Fire Damages Home Where 10 Buddhist Family Members Live

A one-alarm fire damaged the garage of a home where 10 people and three dogs live, and San Jose firefighters say the large family is lucky that everyone got out with no injuries.

San Jose Fire Capt. Mike Van Elgort said crews quickly put out the blaze in the 500 block of Nokomis Drive, which was reported about 5 a.m. in the garage area of the home.

Resident Lena Tran, 22, said her uncle smelled smoke and woke everyone up. As the family is Buddhist and has a small shrine and altar inside the home, she wondered if incense might have sparked the flames.

"I woke my sistser up," Trans said. "And said, 'Oh, we gotta go.' I didn't grab anything, not even my cell phone."

But Van Elgort said that incense doesn't burn that hot, and he suspected the fire had something to do with faulty electrical wiring in the panels somewhere in the garage.

He added that smoke detectors likely saved the family's lives.

The Red Cross came to help the displaced family members, including three others who were also sleeping in the house at the time.

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