Five-alarms respond for San José structure fire

On Monday, September 19, 2011 at 4:34 PM, units of the San José Fire Department responded to multiple reports of a structure fire in a two story multi-family Thorpe House located at 272 Washington Street in the city's historic Japantown neighborhood.

Responding firefighters aboard Engine 7 reported smoke showing from the area while en route and as the first units began to arrive on scene it was quickly confirmed that fire spreading throughout the Victorian-era structure with heavy smoke and fire issuing from all sides of the building.

Firefighters were able to quickly confirm that no occupants were inside the structure as additional alarms were struck to contend with the fire. According to real estate records the 3,878 square foot home was originally built in 1892 and was later subdivided into seven studio units housing multiple residents. According to one witness the structure had recently been remodeled by the owner.

The stubborn fire required five-alarms and mutual aid from several South Bay fire departments including firefighters from the neighboring departments in Santa Clara, Milpitas and Santa Clara County. In all approximately 100 firefighters converged on the scene and were able to bring the fire under control in approximately two hours.

Unfortunately all of the occupants were displaced as the fire caused severe damage throughout the structure. No civilians were hurt, but two firefighters did suffer minor injuries and were treated and released from area hospitals.

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