Three-alarm San Jose apartment fire displaces 16, including 5 children

A large apartment fire in south central San Jose displaced 16 people, including five children, early Friday morning.

Firefighters say it was a high-risk situation when the fire first started on Rancho Drive just after midnight. The fire spread quickly and multiple apartments were on fire when fire crews arrived.

Crews found the two-story, 8-unit apartment building on fire and feared people may be trapped inside. 

The fire was upgraded to a 3-alarm and fire fighters first went into rescue mode. 

 “These are the ones that scare the fire service, because we’re concerned about citizen safety. Thank goodness we had good Samaritans helping to get people out,” said Fire Capt. Mike Van Elgort.

One of those good Samaritans was Juan Carapia and his dad. "My father grabbed the fire extinguisher before the firefighters came. He made sure everyone was out."


Luckily no one was injured. 

Firefighters had the fire knocked down by 1:30  a.m.

Officials say they believe the fire started in either the first or second floor unit in the front left of the building.