SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A Christmas tree ignited early Tuesday morning, sending flames racing into an attic and throughout a San Jose home, forcing residents to scramble for safety and injuring a firefighter and a fire victim, authorities said.
San Jose Fire Capt. Peter Capinio said numerous 911 calls came into dispatch around 4 a.m. reporting a residential fire in the 1100 block of Lick Ave.
When firefighters arrived, the home was fully engulfed with flames and the residents were gathered outside. One of the residents was suffering from smoke inhalation and taken to the hospital for treatment.
“According to the residents,” Capinio said. “It looked like the fire started where the Christmas tree was. The fire spread rapidly through the house and into the attic.”
Firefighters also encountered access obstacles within the home. One firefighter was taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries suffered in a fall inside the home.
Capinio said the fire suffered as a warning to other homeowners during the holiday season. A Christmas tree can ignite a major fire within minutes of catching fire.
“You need to be aware, especially when they have been sitting for a while,” he said. “They get brittle and can go up (in flames) real easily.”
Firefighters remained on the scene at 5:30 a.m. still extinguishing flames in the attic.