LOS GATOS (CBS SF) – Firefighters in Los Gatos prevented a grass and brush fire that burned two storage sheds and three cars from damaging nearby apartment buildings Thursday night, according to the Santa Clara County Fire Department.

The brush fire was reported behind 247 Calle Marguerita Thursday at 5:59 p.m., Battalion Chief Kendall Pearson said.

The looped street is nearby a railway easement near state Highway 85. Pearson said that smoke was visible on the west side of the highway.

When firefighters arrived, they found a grass fire burning in the railway easement that had spread to downed trees and brush in the area.

“Its not a very well maintained area, its just a railway easement and people throw trash over there sometimes,” Pearson said.

But firefighters were concerned that the fire may spread to large apartment buildings nearby, and called a second alarm bringing a total of 34 firefighters to the scene.

Prevailing winds were blowing towards the apartment buildings, heightening concerns that they may be affected. Firefighters managed to control the fire within about 30 minutes, but not before the fire destroyed two storage sheds and three cars.

“This isn’t an uncommon event, it’s a little bit worse than what it usually is because it’s a little hotter and drier and the wind was on it,” Pearson said.

He said that a fire investigator was on the scene tonight, and that the preliminary investigation revealed the fire may be suspicious as witnesses saw several juveniles fleeing the area when the fire started.

The apartments were undamaged and residents will be able to return home Thursday. Pearson said that some smoke may have made its way into apartments through open windows, but otherwise any occupied structures were undamaged.

San Jose and Sunnyvale firefighters provided assistance, and Los Gatos police assisted with traffic control.


(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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