Cellphone video shows the two houses in flames after the ruptured gas lines ignited. The homeowners are still in shock. They were conferring Monday with their insurance adjuster, Kip Martin. Martin tries to be upbeat, knowing how tough it is for insured clients to lose a house. But there's no sugar-coating the process ahead.
"Due to the layoffs with the city of San Jose in terms of the building department, it's approximately three or four months to acquire a permit and the repair process is at least six to eight months, so they'll be out of their homes over a year," Martin said.
The homeowners tell ABC7 News anger hasn't surfaced yet toward the 12-year-old boy and the four pre-teen passengers. Police officers were trying to stop them when they saw the vehicle with its headlights off. The car turned onto Bluefield Drive and crashed. The combined damage for both houses, contents and cars will exceed $1 million.
"The one on the left will be a complete gut with a roof removal; the other one has actually interior wall damage as well, it could be considered a total loss," Martin said.
Because officers were on scene when the fire started, they were able to roust the sleeping residents and help them get out safely. Pet fish and a dog were also rescued.
The residents say they're just taking it one day at a time. The 12-year-old driver was booked into juvenile hall, while the passengers were cited and released to their parents. A police officer received minor injuries while helping residents to escape.
The adjuster said the two families will be compensated by their insurance coverage, and then the insurance company will determine whether it can get reimbursed. The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office says parents of a juvenile can be held financially responsible.