Two injured in two-alarm fire in San Jose

September 19, 2012 11:49:28 AM PDT
An apartment fire in San Jose this morning touched off a string of events which included a woman escaping the fire and then running back into it.

Firefighters call it a very hot fire that burned through this second floor unit on Yolo Court. Firefighters spent part of the morning getting water on hot spots. Marie Sanfilippo was in the unit when the fire broke out; she was awakened by the barking of her dog Molly.

"I jumped out of the window and there was a little shed right there below the window and I tried to get her to jump out, but she wouldn't jump out so I had to jump back in there to pick her up," said Sanfilippo.

So after Sanfilippo had re-escaped the fire by jumping from the window to the top of that shed, this time with Molly, two police officers grabbed a neighbor's ladder and rescued them both. Sanfilippo at first refused to be treated for smoke inhalation and police say when she became belligerent, she was placed in a squad car. She later calmed down and agreed to be treated and was taken to a hospital, as was a firefighter for burns to his leg.

Sanfillipo told firefighters two others had been in that same apartment with her, everyone got out.

"Initial, primary and secondary search was conducted in that apartment and no one was found to be in that apartment," said San Jose Fire Capt. Reggie Williams.

Carol and Bill Neil live below where the fire raged. Both need wheelchairs to get around.

"I saw this red light and I looked down and Bill said 'it's fire.' So I looked out and sure enough - so we hightailed it out," said Carol.

Several people from other units in the four-plex need somewhere else to stay, though in some cases, maybe just for one night.

"It's kind of like a shock right now because this has never happened before. So we are just taking it minute by minute," said fire victim David Tran.

A total of 18 people were displaced by this fire. The Red Cross has given out hotel vouchers to the victims.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and may have started on the balcony.


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