Smoke Detector Saves Lives During Four-Alarm San Jose Blaze

On Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 2:41 AM, units of the San Jose Fire Department responded to 555 East Julian Street after receiving reports of smoke in a two-story, balloon frame construction, Craftsman style home in the city's downtown area.

Upon their arrival firefighters discovered flames and smoke on the first floor and in the basement of the home. An aggressive interior attack was initiated with crews conducting a search of the structure. The residents had escaped on their own after being awakened by the sound of smoke detectors.

Firefighters from Truck Company 3 laddered the home and commenced opening up the roof for vertical ventilation. While conducting their work, Battalion Chief Alan Anderson, advised Incident Commander, Battalion Chief Kevin Conant, that conditions were changing rapidly and that the roof crew would be vacating the roof as fire had made its way into the second-story of the home.

Within a matter of minutes, fire was through the roof, and blowing out of windows on the C-side of the home. All companies were immediately advised to transition to a defensive operation, with truck crews deploying aerial master streams.

The fire continued to burn throughout much of the structure and was finally contained just before 5:30 AM.

There were no reported injuries and firefighters continue to investigate the circumstances that led to the fire.
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