Dozens of children safely evacuated from child care center fire

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Dozens of children and adults safely evacuated from a one-alarm fire at a child care center in San Jose Wednesday afternoon, a fire spokesman said.

Firefighters responded to a report of a fire at Kiddie Academy in the 500 block of West Capitol Expressway around 1:50 p.m., fire Capt. Christopher Salcido said.

Crews arrived to find the 59 children along with adults from the center outside the building, Salcido said.

A contractor was connecting two water pipes at the center with a torch that ignited surrounding material, according to Salcido.

A significant amount of smoke came from the building and firefighters evacuated a neighboring CVS Pharmacy store as a precaution, Salcido said.

The fire went between two walls and was knocked down shortly after 2 p.m. before it spread to the attic, Salcido said.

There were 59 children no older than 6 or 7 at the center, including babies who had to be wheeled out of the building in cribs, according to Salcido.

One of the fire captains brought out plastic fire helmets for the children, who had a choice of either a pink or black hat, Salcido said.

The captain also sang songs including, "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" with the children, according to Salcido.

Firefighters cleared the scene around 3 p.m., he said.

Everyone was allowed back inside but the center's staff decided to keep the adults and children out of the building due to the lingering smell of smoke, according to Salcido.

"Those kids have a great story to tell their parents when they get home at the end of the day," Salcido said.