fire at home depot in lumber section

Fire investigators announced Sunday that the fire ripped through a Home Depot in south San Jose with such intensity that satellites in orbit could detect its heat signature.

Hot spots continued to send smoke from the building’s smoldering remains on Sunday – posing a health risk to nearby residents as firefighters continued to pour water on the shop and investigators worked to pin down the cause of the blaze.

San Jose Fire Department spokesman Captain Christopher Pickup said the shelter-in-place advisory for residents living near the store continued through at least Sunday afternoon. That’s because the chemicals that burn in the fire, a toxic stew of paint, insulation and other building materials, Pickup said.

San Jose Fire Department spokesman Capt. Christopher Pickup said the warning came as the first flames appeared in the rear of the building in the lumber section of the store on Sunday – overwhelming the building’s fire extinguishers.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Pickup said it could take a few days for investigators to fully reach the scene, as hot spots remain.

According to Cloutier, the fire broke out around 5:30 p.m. Saturday, when dispatchers received several calls from employees and patrons about a fire in a commercial structure. The Home Depot store, which is located in a shopping center opposite Westfield Oakridge Mall, quickly went up in flames, forcing customers and employees to flee to safety.

Josh Thompson, a store employee who worked in the wood section, said some store workers had little chance of stamping out the blazing flames before being forced to flee.

Thompson said he was near the rear breakroom when the call to evacuate was issued. He ran to the corridor with fire extinguishers, grabbed one, and then crossed the section with gutters, metal, and skylights.

By that time, Thompson recalled, a store employee said, “It’s too late.”

“It was already on the roof, and it was moving too fast to put out the fire,” Thompson said.

He recalled that his lungs were burning as he tried to help the workers and others coming out of the store. He then went next to the pet hospital and helped rescue the dogs from there.

“Everyone got out, so it’s worth it,” Thompson said.

Video footage shared on social media by San Jose resident Philip Hearst shows a horrifying scene in which large, fiery embers fell from the ceiling inside a store while Home Depot workers stood outside doors, shouting at people : “Get out of the building!”

Hurst, who had been shopping inside the home improvement store before the fire broke out, said he didn’t smell any smoke while shopping or checking out, and didn’t see any signs of a possible fire. But as he was putting his belongings in his car, he saw people running out of the shop and went back to see what the commotion was.

“I don’t know how it started, but it spread rapidly,” he said in a message. On his drive home, Hurst noted that pieces of ash measuring the size of a dinner plate were falling from the sky about a mile from the shop.

Firefighters finally got the five-alarm blaze under control at 11:45 p.m. Saturday – about six hours after it exploded – but crews continued to work through the night to clean up the hotspot and ensure embers were removed. Do not flow into neighboring businesses or homes.

“The roof has collapsed significantly,” he said during a news briefing, adding that materials inside the store such as paint thinner, wood and other flammable elements made the fire uniquely challenging to put out. Brad Clotier, Chief of the San Jose Fire Battalion, called the Home Depot store “considerable damage.”

The National Weather Service tweeted that one of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s satellites detected the heat of the fire. A plume of smoke also appeared on one of the agency’s weather radars.

The fire left a surreal scene on Sunday. Drone footage taken by The Mercury News on Sunday afternoon showed almost the entire building in a dilapidated condition, except for a few exterior walls. Outside the front door of the shop, the potted plants and flowers were still green and unaffected.

At least 30 fire units, along with 100 firefighters, responded to the scene, some of whom were stationed in a neighborhood to the south of the shop to prevent any damage to nearby homes. Pickup said on Sunday morning that there were no reports of people being injured or missing.

Petco and other nearby businesses, including Wagley Veterinary Hospital and Pet Campus, were also forced to evacuate quickly. Pickup said Wagley Veterinary Hospital sustained water damage from firefighters pouring water over the fire, as well as workers creating a barrier between buildings.

Anyone who does not have a pet has been instructed to report to Golfland on Blossom Hill Road.

Rocky Olivares, who used to work at a Home Depot store, said that when he heard about the fire he immediately reacted to the scene to make sure his former coworkers were safe. When he arrived, Home Depot had already been evacuated, but he said it appeared wind and smoke were headed toward Wagli Veterinary Hospital.

Still concerned about the people inside, Olivares said he ran into the building and began working to get the staff and pets out safely.

“It was smoky in the building,” he said. “You could see but there was a thermal layer and there was already a layer of smoke.”

Clotier said there was some smoke and water damage from firefighters working to stop the fire from spreading to the animal hospital, but the extent of the damage is unclear.

The Home Depot fire, which extinguished a heavy plume of smoke that could be seen in the South Bay, flared up several hours after another massive fire broke out at an East Bay port on Saturday afternoon, similarly engulfing nearby communities. covered in smoke.

At around 2 p.m. Saturday, firefighters responded to the fire at the port of Benicia. The fire was quickly escalated to a two- to four-alarm fire as the fire broke out in a long wooden dock at the Carquinez Strait near the Benicia-Martinez Bridge on Interstate 680. According to officials, no one was reported injured.

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