The Victorian style "McKinney House," as locals called it, dated back to at least the 1890's. It was a last vestige of old agricultural San Jose.
When its old wooden frame lit up Thursday morning, flames rose 20-feet high. The San Jose Fire Department worried, first about victims inside. By the time they finished their smoky search, saving the house was the house was pretty much out of the question.
This is a loss for neighbors, as much as it is for owners. Jose and Manuel Perez grew up across the street. They remember Senter Road as two lanes and the neighborhood as farms. After suburbs and mobile homes moved in, the McKinney House stood as a last reminder from that simpler, more innocent era.
"We used to go there and pick apricots," Manuel recalled. "It was our playground."
"How strange that this happened on Thanksgiving," added Jose. "This has always been a day about family, but now the memories really come flooding back."
The brothers are thankful for one thing, this day; that their childhood friend, who lived in the house, escaped without injury. He was not talking Thursday morning.
The San Jose Fire Department says the blaze remains an open investigation. Residents say that after this, the neighborhood will never be the same.