Second fire in three months at California Teachers Association building in San Jose

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San Jose fire investigators were back at the scene of a two alarm fire that erupted at a California Teachers Association office building early Thursday morning. Officials and workers say it’s happened again, and this time it is worse.

“We had a confirmed working fire in a single-story office building,” said San Jose fire captain Jesse Allread.

Early Thursday morning, flames shot from the roof of the California Teachers Association building in East San Jose. It took fire crews about 30 minutes to control the two alarm blaze. And then daylight revealed extensive damage. Charred debris was piled in the parking lot as an arson investigator worked to determine the cause.

“The California Teachers Association will not be able to occupy the building for a while. Although they assure me the CTA is working other arrangements,” said San Jose fire captain Mitch Matlow, who is also a department spokesman.

This is the second fire at this site and the fifth incident since January. Back in March, CTA staffers told KTVU someone tossed a Molotov cocktail type device onto the roof, which started a small fire. Additionally, three acts of vandalism, with someone shattering windows and an office doors glass.

“There are going to be incidents anywhere you go. But this is an unusual one because it seems like it’s happening often,” Dr. Christopher Davis, president of the CTA Berryessa, said on March 15.

That same month, the CTA said it was increasing overnight patrols at the building, which houses office space for nine South Bay teacher’s unions. But apparently that action hasn’t halted the acts of violence.

“It’s always concerning when we have more than one fire in a building in a short time apart,” said Matlow.

In the march incident, witnesses told investigators they saw a man running from the scene. But this time, it was overnight and there were no witnesses. However, there are surveillance cameras that could provide clues which may lead to a suspect.