Gas fed explosion injures six, including five firefighters

On Sunday, December 3, 2006 at approximately 1:16 AM, units of the San Jose Fire Department responded to multiple calls of fire in a single-story, single family dwelling at 244 Edwards Avenue in a residential area south of downtown San Jose.

First due Engine and Truck 3 arrived on scene as part of a full-first alarm assignment and confirmed a working structure fire with exposure problems. A second-alarm was struck immediately to protect adjacent structures.

Approximately one hour into the incident, while inspecting the interior of the home for hotspots, a major natural gas explosion occurred lifting the structure from its foundation injuring five firefighters and one police officer.

Immediately after the explosion a RIC team deployed to locate and extricate the five firefighters while a third-alarm was struck. Four of the injured firefighters were transported to area hospitals for treatment and released while one firefighter was hospitalized for a back injury sustained when he was thrown across a room from the force of the blast.

Fourth and fifth alarms were subsequently struck triggering a mutual aid response from nearby fire departments including those from Mountain View, Santa Clara, Milpitas, Santa Clara County, and Sunnyvale.

Immediately after the rescue of injured firefighters the incident commander ordered the deployment of the deck gun from San Jose Engine 3 and elevated master streams off of Truck 4 and Truck 1 while crews remained shielded behind apparatus if within 150 feet of the structure. Pacific Gas & Electric responded to the scene to isolate the area and shut off the flow of gas.

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