The night sky exploded with lights, sirens and flames. It was all focused around two homes on Bluefield Drive.
"Sounded like someone screeching around some turns and then we heard a loud boom that sounded like an explosion," witness David Sierra said.
It was the sound of a stolen car, plowing into a gas meter on the side of the home.
Police say the 12 year-old-driver and three of his friends, whose ages ranged from nine to 12, were out for a joy ride.
Police noticed them on Vista Park Drive around midnight. They followed the boys, who suddenly turned onto Bluefield Drive and into the houses.
"They're just reckless, not watching out for people or anything they're not from this neighborhood," neighbor Tom Roberts said.
Sources told ABC7 News, the boys are from East San Jose. The driver was taken to juvenile hall, while the other boys were cited for joy riding, and then released to their parents.
Police rushed into the burning houses to help the homeowners escape. They all made it out safely, but one officer was hurt in the process.
The families moved what they could salvage out of their burnt homes Sunday morning.
"They are thankful to be alive and when you see something like this and you think human value is more important than anything," victim's friend Kelly Way said.