5-alarm fire engulfs Home Depot in San Jose, California
Firefighters battled a 5-alarm blaze at a Home Depot in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, the San Jose Fire Department said. Crowds gathered to watch in the parking lot as the inferno spewed a huge column of smoke into the air.
Thirty fire units made up of 100 firefighters were on hand to battle the blaze, CBS San Francisco reports. The SJFD took control of the fire around 11:45 p.m. local time, CBS San Francisco reports.
No injuries to employees, customers or firefighters were reported, according to CBS San Francisco. The Home Depot’s roof had largely collapsed on Saturday.
SJFD Battalion Commander Brad Cloutier said Saturday the initial goal was to evacuate the building. Cloutier said extinguishing the fire proved difficult for several reasons, including the windy conditions and the materials inside the store.
“Paint, paint thinner, wood, all sorts of flammable materials, plastic garden chairs, things that burn quite easily and lots of them and a big store – so challenges as far as that goes. “, he said, according to CBS San Francisco. “Also, the wind this afternoon was a bit heavy as you saw when you got here.”
Cloutier said fire crews were also dispatched south of the blaze in case wind-blown embers set fire to nearby homes.
A nearby animal hospital also had to be evacuated, SJFD said. Several passers-by helped evacuate the animals.
“We were actually heading to the Oakridge Mall to get some tea, and my husband said to go see if we could help with the animals. So we walked in and started opening all the doors,” Evelyn Skoff told CBS San. Francis. “We took them all to the back and there were a bunch of people helping us get these animals together, so it was really cool to see all the teamwork.”
“I also helped her with her. We went around and opened all the cages to make sure they came out in time,” Tatum Sullivan said, according to CBS San Francisco.
The fire did not spread to the animal hospital, but the building sustained smoke and water damage, according to CBS San Francisco.
The fire was so intense that it showed up on National Weather Service radar.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.