Firefighter stricken while fighting three-alarm church blaze

On Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 11:22 AM, the San José Fire Department responded to multiple reports of fire at Saint Patrick's Cathedral located at 389 East Santa Clara Street in downtown San José.

While working at the scene, firefighter Frank Ryan, a 15-year veteran of the department, collapsed after suffering a major heart attack. San José Fire Chief William McDonald announced that Ryan was in critical but stable condition at Regional Medical Center.

The first firefighters on scene discovered heavy pressurized black smoke venting from the interior of the church through shattered stained glass windows. Firefighters quickly set about locating the seat of the fire, stretching lines and placing them into operation on the building's interior.

Parishioners were able to escape the fire without injury, while firefighters worked to contain the fire from spreading to the neighboring parochial school. Second and third alarms were struck in quick succession summoning some 60 firefighters to the scene.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

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