Crews continue battling 2-alarm fire at vacant commercial building in San Jose

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Crews continue battling a 2-alarm fire at a vacant commercial structure at West Julian and Stockton streets in San Jose Thursday.

Crews are still battling a 2-alarm fire at a vacant commercial building at West Julian and Stockton streets in San Jose Thursday.

Officials said the building was scheduled for demolition and that they believe there may have been homeless people staying in the building.
Capt. Daniel Vega said the San Jose Fire Department was called at 7:56 a.m. by neighbors who saw flames through the windows of the empty commercial building in the 800 block of West Julian Street.

Firefighters arrived just minutes later, and one of the crews kicked down a door into the building to try to fight the fire from the inside. However, just two to three minutes later, the roof fell in on itself, Vega said.

The battalion chief present was able to pull out all firefighters who were in the building before the roof caved in, Vega said. As of about 9:45 a.m., the fire department still has no access to the inside of the building.

The rain was on and off throughout the morning. You might think that would be helpful, but firefighters said that's not necessarily true for structure fires. "It makes our job a little more difficult just because things are wet and heavy," Vega said.

No one had to be evacuated since the building itself was not being used. There was an original worry of the fire spreading to a nearby condominium complex, but fire crews worked so that no other buildings will be affected, according to Vega.

Most of the nearby residents have their windows closed because of the rainy weather, so they should not be directly affected by the rising smoke either, he said.

Officials say no injuries have been reported.

Firefighters are at the scene to determine what may have caused this blaze.

Bay City News contributed to this story.
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