Six-Alarm fire destroys portion of San José school

On Monday, July 5, 2010 at 4:17 AM units of the San Jose Fire Department responded to a major fire at Trace Elementary School located at 651 Dana Avenue in the city's Rose Garden neighborhood.

The first engine to arrive on scene (Engine 7) initiated fire attack and immediately struck a second alarm. With additional units en route firefighters were forced to assume a defensive strategy as flames spread into the mansard roof and common attic space above the school's library and classrooms.

With fire advancing throughout the entire 28,000 square foot building, long sections of the mansard roof began to collapse forcing firefighters to keep a safe distance while deploying aerial master streams, deck guns, and portable monitors.

While the fire destroyed the school's library, media center, and 19 classrooms, firefighters were able to protect adjacent school buildings and neighborhood homes from any damage or fire spread.

A team of arson investigators is working to determine the cause of the fire.

UPDATE: Two teenagers were arrested and charged with aggravated arson. Both suspects confessed to setting the fire that resulted in over $10 million in damage and the destruction of 16 classrooms, the school's library, and administrative offices.

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