Neighbors help rescue elderly couple from San Jose condo fire

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ByKatie Marzullo KGO logo
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Neighbors help rescue elderly couple from San Jose condo fire
Neighbors sprung into action to help an elderly couple who had fallen victim to a fire in their San Jose condo Wednesday.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Three people went to the hospital after fire erupted inside an apartment in San Jose. Flames shot out of the complex near Florence Avenue and Nancy Lane.

RELATED: 4 injured in San Jose condo fire

Neighbors tell ABC7 News an older couple lives in the apartment and everyone who saw the smoke and flames jumped into action to help them.

Jamie Mercado lives across the street. He says his elderly neighbor jumped from the second story window to escape a raging fire inside her apartment. "I had my sandals and no shirt," he said. "I just ran, tried to open the door. I was hoping it was open so I could help her. She was already down."

Another neighbor got the husband out. Maria Castillo took cellphone video where the female victim is heard. "She says, 'I don't know happened. I was asleep and all of the sudden I heard something,'" said Castillo. '"Neighbors banging on the door and that's it.'"

The woman and her husband were taken to the hospital, so was a man who suffered smoke inhalation.

San Jose firefighters arrived on scene just after 4 p.m. They knocked down the flames within 20 minutes, but it was a hard fight because of windy conditions.

"With the windows that were gone on the side of the building, and feeding that fire, feeding it fresh oxygen and then pushing fire down the stairwell certainly made our firefighting efforts more difficult," said Captain Brad Cloutier of SJFD.

Fire investigators have not yet determined the cause of the fire.