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Candle Blamed For Overnight Apartment Fire Near SJSU

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SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – A man was hospitalized with second-degree burns after escaping from his fiery apartment in downtown San Jose late Wednesday night.

Crews responded to a report of a fire at an apartment building in the 300 block of East William Street, near the San Jose State University campus, at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, San Jose fire Capt. Fernando Munoz said.

When crews arrived, they found a third-floor unit at the building engulfed in flames and called a second alarm, Munoz said.

Munoz said the blaze was quickly contained and crews went into the apartment looking for any victims. A reporting party said there could be up to four residents in the apartment.

Only one resident was injured in the blaze. That person escaped the apartment and crews found him outside, suffering from second-degree burns, according to Munoz.

He was transported to a hospital and is expected to survive.

Munoz said that two people were in the apartment at the time of the fire, one sleeping and another in the living room on his cellphone.

The resident in the living room lit a candle and went to another room while on his phone. When he returned, he saw smoke coming from the living room door, Munoz said.

After attempting to put out the fire unsuccessfully, the resident knocked on all the doors and called his roommates to warn them of the fire, according to Munoz.

The sleeping roommate answered his phone and then jumped out of bed, ran through the living room and escaped, running through the fire in the process, the captain said.

Munoz said the fiery apartment was a total loss and two apartments underneath it sustained water damage.

No one else was injured in the blaze. A total of 11 people were displaced and the American Red Cross is assisting with temporary housing.

The fire was deemed under control at about 12:20 a.m. today, Munoz said.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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