At about 11:55 p.m., a police officer spotted a four-door sedan driving without headlights on Vistapark Drive, San Jose police Officer Albert Morales said.
The officer attempted to pull the vehicle over, but the driver sped off and made an immediate right on Bluefield Drive, where he lost control of the sedan, Morales said.
The vehicle, which was an unreported stolen car, crashed into two houses on Bluefield drive, rupturing a gas line and starting the fire.
There were four people in one of the houses at the time of the accident and one person in the second home. All heard the crash and got out safely before the fire spread, San Jose fire Capt. Scott Ackemann said.
Fire crews arrived in six minutes but initially had trouble stopping the flow of gas because the line broke at a spot beyond where the shutoff valve is, rendering the valve useless, Ackemann said.
The flames destroyed one home and caused significant damage to the other, he said.
A firefighter suffered a minor leg injury and was taken to a hospital, Ackemann said.
The driver was taken into custody and booked at Juvenile Hall.
Two other passengers were released to their guardians at the scene.