San Jose firefighters: Barbecued chicken sparked house fire

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Several people in San Jose are out of their home after a fierce fire that took crews hours to knock down Monday night.

The San Jose Fire Department says this was all caused by someone cooking up chicken.

The fence was charred by the flames, along with the tree. A chain link fence is up to keep people out of the home.

Jimmy Gustamantes recorded a video of the huge flames and thick black smoke filling the air.

The power pole and a gas meter caught on fire at about 7:25 p.m. Monday.
All eight homes on Lieb Court, off South White Road in East San Jose, were evacuated.

PG&E had to shut off the electricity to about 350 homes.

RELATED: Crews extinguish two-alarm house fire in San Jose

"When we have a gas fed fire, we can't put that fire out until the gas stops flowing, so we had to call PG&E out to get the gas turned off. They couldn't get their gas guy in to turn off the gas until the electricity was secured because the power pole had been on fire," Capt. Mitch Matlow said.

Several people were evacuated from their homes, including Stella Cortez.

"When you look up here and see the power lines have burned what do you think of that?" asked ABC7 Matt Keller.

"Very frightening, very, very frightening. It was close to home. Too close," said Cortez.

A neighbor's pet rabbit was killed by the flames, but no one was injured. ABC7 News spoke with a young man who lived in the home with his mom, uncle and brother for 27 years.

"This is your home. This is probably all you know, huh?" asked ABC7's Matt Keller.

"I grew up in this house. We came over here right when I was born," said Kiet Thai

Thai says short term, they can stay with other family in the area. The good news, they have insurance and will likely rebuild.

"You know you see something like this on TV all the time and you feel bad whenever you see it. But it's completely different when you're actually going through it yourself," said Thai.
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