Fire leads to water line break and traffic delays in San Jose

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Just after 11:00 a.m., San Jose firefighters responded to a one-alarm house fire on Summer Street, near South Jackson Avenue.

Six people were inside the home when the fire broke out. All of the residents were able to escape without any injuries.

Residents say they are grateful to be alive. "I got out, and all I heard was fire! So my aunt and my cousin woke up, and they just told us to evacuate," said Danna Arcangel, a San Jose resident.

Fire crews contained the fire to just one home, but a neighboring fence was damaged.

"I heard some popping outside the house, so when I checked, I saw the smoke, that's why I started telling everybody there's a fire," said Dave Besidario, a San Jose resident.

The Red Cross is assisting the residents with temporary accommodations because the house has been deemed uninhabitable by the fire department.

During the firefight, a 6-inch water line broke, forcing hundreds of gallons of water onto the street. Residents were essentially trapped because the only opening into the area was blocked off by fire trucks. Neighbors expressed their frustration over having to cancel plans.

"A lot of people have to go to their other work, or family visiting where somebody was sick, or technically other reason that they cannot get out, that's the main thing they're concerned," said Duong Trinh, a San Jose resident.

"I'm like two hours late already, what am I supposed to do? I can't walk to my destination. I got to wait until they clean it up so that I can get on the road," said Gustavo Reyes, a San Jose resident.

The San Jose Water Company says the break happened in the process of battling the fire, and crews activating the hydrant. Their initial investigation has determined that firefighters turned the hydrant up and down too quickly, causing a water hammer effect, which built pressure within the main, causing the pipe to break.

It's estimated between 50,000 and 75,000 gallons of water spilled out onto the streets.
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.