SAN JOSE (KCBS) — A man who was among the homeless squatters occupying a building in downtown San Jose that was once the former home of the KNTV news station says a relative may have died in the fire that destroyed the building.

Firefighters were investigating what caused a five-alarm fire on Sunday afternoon at the building at the intersection of Park Avenue and Montgomery Street, about two blocks from the San Jose Caltrain Station.

The fire was reported at about 3 p.m. on Sunday and put out at about three hours later.

One homeless man, who gave his name as Ace, told KCBS he believed that his uncle perished in the blaze.

He said over two-dozen people were living in the former television station. “We all had rooms; we build our own rooms. It just kept us all off the streets. It kept us all in there as family,” he said.

The man said he thinks his uncle died in the fire because his apartment was barricaded.

Firefighters are continuing their investigation and searching for possible victims but at around 7 a.m., they were still dousing the occasional hotspots.

San Jose Fire Capt. Reggie Williams told the San Jose Mercury News that firefighters were unable to immediately go inside to check for potential victims because of the heat, smoke and flames.


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