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One injured in apartment fire near San Jose State University

A male was hospitalized with second-degree burns after escaping from his fiery apartment in downtown San Jose.
April 24, 2014 11:53:18 AM PDT
Most residents burned out of their apartments in an overnight fire near San Jose State are now back in their units, but not everyone. One resident was seriously burned after barely making it out alive.

It was a normal night at this apartment complex on South 8th Street as the clock approached midnight. The dozens of San Jose State students who live in the 18 or so units were busy doing what college students normally do -- eating, sleeping, studying, playing video games or socializing, but what happened next was anything but normal.

"My apartment's on fire. Then we started hearing these screams. At first we thought someone was just joking around? Are they just being college students? And then we look out. We couldn't see it because it was above us but we just saw the flames bursting out," said SJSU student Ricky Salguero.

Firefighters say a resident was on his cellphone when he lit a candle and the discarded match ended up on the couch. He went outside and a little while later he noticed smoke coming from his apartment. Then saw the couch on fire. He couldn't get to his roommate who was in the bedroom so he called him on his cellphone. The roommate then had to run through the flames.

"He sprinted out as fast as he could out of the burning fire. I saw little flames on his back. I hope he's alright," said SJSU student Ben Kung.

The roommate was taken to the hospital with second degree burns. Another person was treated for smoke inhalation. Everyone else in the apartment complex was evacuated to the street for several hours.

It was a horrible night, but with one redeeming quality -- everybody survived.

"I'm amazed. I'm really thankful that there was only one injury and that the guy survived. And that at least everyone is okay, but that's really all you can ask for, right," said SJSU student Henry Farmer.

Two of the units have fire damage, a third has water damage. Eleven students are displaced with many staying with friends and family. The Red Cross was also called in to help out.

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