San Jose residents woken with string of dumpster fires

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- It was a rude awakening for several San Jose residents this morning following a string of dumpster fires in the south downtown area.

One of the fires slightly damaged a fraternity house right across from San Jose State University.

Fire crews were busy responding to at least 9 trash fires in the neighborhood.

"They were all very small fires but at the peak we had 5 engines out of service dealing with those small fires," said Capt. Mitch Matlow with San Jose Fire.

Damage was minimal and primarily isolated inside garbage bins. "An isolated one dumpster, yeah, but 9 others, that's a bit much and I'm quite sure that's deliberate," said resident Dee Davis.

The most significant damage happened at the Alpha Phi Alpha frat house - right across from the San Jose State campus.

RELATED: Several arson fires set in downtown San Jose

"I don' know if it was directed towards us exactly but it does, it's a shame that someone's out there not really considering you could be hurting someone else inside the house, you could have killed someone," said student Nakim Benson.

Flames spread onto the side of the house before being quickly put out by firefighters. A nearby dumpster was set on fire and pushed up against their building.

The fire knocked out power to the house - not the most ideal thing to happen, a day before Benson's graduation.

"It's a bummer because we have to worry about showering and what we're going to do now," said Benson. "My family is in here now trying to figure out how we're going to get ready for the ceremonies, but we have friends in the area so I'm pretty sure we'll call them to help us out."

A campus alert was sent out to students warning them about the arson.

San Jose firefighters say arson investigators are looking into the cause and possible suspects.
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