Firefighters battle 3 vegetation fires in Kelley Park

July 10, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Several fires erupted Tuesday night at the same time in Kelley Park in San Jose. That park is located at Keyes Street and Roberts Avenue, right behind Happy Hollow Park, southeast of Downtown San Jose.

The fires started around 9 p.m. There were 40 to 50 firefighters who rushed to Kelley Park to fight what was originally called in as three separate fires, within 500 to 600 feet of one another. The fires traveled along Guadalupe Creek.

Crews managed to get control of the fires within an hour, but as of 11 p.m. they were not yet completely out. No structures or homes were threatened. However, this isn't the first time fire crews have rushed to Kelley Park.

Those who live nearby blame the fires on the homeless.

"There were three fires [Monday] and then I guess one or two [on Tuesday] and there are just more and more. Our apartment complex is right over here on the other side of Kelley Park. A lot of times the smoke blows that way or the wind is going that way and draws a fire over that way," said Tim Azlin, a San Jose resident.

"Homeless encampments are a problem in the creek areas, but certainly it's too early to make a determination that it's a homeless encampment. There's no way to make that determination at this point. It could be accidental for some unknown reason, it could be intentional, but at this point, it's too early to say," said San Jose Fire Capt. Rob Brown.

There were fires in Kelley Park over the weekend. Investigators are still out there investigating clues and interviewing witnesses. They say they are not ruling anything out.

Fire crews plan to be at the park through the night to keep an eye on hot spots.


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