Fire crews responded to the single-family home at 790 Linda Vista Street, in an unincorporated pocket of San Jose, at about 6:40 p.m. after receiving "multiple calls reporting the sound of an explosion and then visible fire," Capt. Robert Culbertson said.
He said one person was killed in the fire.
The effort to control the blaze was hindered by the significant damage to the home, which was declared unstable due to holes in the floor and a collapsed wall. However, the blaze was declared under control at about 8:30 p.m.
The San Jose Fire Department and Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office are investigating the cause of the fire and the reports of an explosion, Culbertson said, adding that glass was spread out across the street in front of the home.
"With the possibility of an explosion at this home, with the size of the fire, with the threat to neighboring homes - we're taking this very seriously," Culbertson said.
He said a lampshade was located in the "debris field" on the street in front of the fire. "All that debris is now being treated as evidence," Culbertson said.
Santa Clara sheriff's Sgt. Rick Sung said homicide and arson investigators have responded to the blaze, but it has not been determined whether it is criminal in nature.
Culbertson said the body remained in the home at 9:30 p.m. and will be removed by a joint investigation task force, including personnel from the San Jose Fire Department, Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office and Santa Clara County medical examiner's office.
He said the home, which is estimated to be between 1,200 and 1,500 square feet, and its contents are a complete loss.