Two homes destroyed in East San Jose fire

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A family in East San Jose is devastated to see their home burn down to the ground after having it in the family for 85 years.

Two homes were completely destroyed by fire at Clayton and Mt. Hamilton roads in East San Jose Thursday afternoon.

Around 4:22 p.m. the fire started and moved from a house, to the grass, to two sheds, and finally to Belva Bunnell's house.

"My aunt's not going to have a house and it's going to be tough," nephew Dan Bunnell said.

Fighting this fire was also extremely tough, especially after it jumped from the property on Clayton Road to a dry, grassy hillside a quarter mile away. Crews rushed to protect a nearby home just in case.

CAL FIRE knocked the fire down while the San Jose Fire Department focused on keeping the flames on the Bunnell family property from spreading. Officials admit they faced several challenges.

"Access was difficult, you can see two-lane road. We had to kind of single-track this thing getting up here. We had to relay water to the area," San Jose Fire Capt. Cleo Doss said.

Water was shuttled in since there aren't any fire hydrants in the area to hook up to. Still, many can't believe the homes that have been in the family for 85 years are gone.

"I stayed at my grandmother's house most of my life. She used to take care of me when I was a kid," nephew Thomas Weber said.

Those who live in the area think squatters living in one of the houses may have caused the fire. The official cause is still unknown.

There were no injuries reported.
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