The fire began around 8:30 p.m. at a home on Seventh Street happened just steps from south side of the San Jose State University campus, near the campus police department and the event center.
By the time fire crews arrived, the house was burning on the first and second floors and through the roof. There was a lot of smoke; it spread throughout a four block radius.
Once fire fighters arrived, they had to attack the fire from the outside and from up above. In the meantime, about 50 people from neighboring apartments and homes were forced to evacuate.
The fire department says no other homes or apartments were damaged in the fire.
The owner of that house says she was doing a lot of renovations on the house and she had just installed brand new electrical wiring. She planned to start renting it out next week. She believes someone broke in and intentionally started this fire.
Fire officials have called in arson investigators. They say it's too early to tell what happened since no one that they know of was inside the house.
Seventh Street between William and San Salvador streets will be closed for the rest of the night.