USA — A three-alarm building fire just west of U.S. Highway 101 in San Jose that started Saturday afternoon was controlled at 1:25 a.m. Sunday, a San Jose Fire Department spokesman said.
The blaze completely destroyed a building that operated a radio station, burned five acres of vegetation, and briefly threatened an adjacent Kellogg’s factory, fire spokesman Robert Culbertson said.
The fire at 475 Eggo Way was reported just before 5 p.m. Saturday, Culbertson said. Vegetation around the building also caught fire but was controlled by about 7 p.m., he said.
No one was inside the building as it burned and no injuries were reported from fighting the fire, Culbertson said. Santa Clara County firefighters and a helicopter equipped with a hot spot-seeking infrared camera assisted in controlling the blaze, he said.
One of the managers of the building came to the scene of the fire and told officials the building sublets its radio tower for use to other stations, including KSJX (1500 AM), a local Asian-language radio station, Culbertson said.
“They were upset that they lost that building,” Culbertson said of the manager. “They were upset it was going to affect how they were going to conduct business in the near future. That building was in service.”
The building manager said crews would be arranged to come in around 8 a.m. Sunday to clean up the remnants of the destroyed structure, since water doused on the building during the seven-hour firefight created mud all around the structure and made it inaccessible Saturday night, Culbertson said.
High afternoon winds pushed smoke from the engulfed radio building along the ground and completely covered the Kellogg’s factory next door with smoke, he said.
Forty factory workers were evacuated and sent home when the facility was briefly shut down due to the fire, Culbertson said. However, when winds died later in the evening the factory was determined to be safe and workers who arrived for their shifts around 10 p.m. were allowed to go to work, Culbertson said.
A Kellogg’s site manager was interviewed by fire officials about the factory’s air handling systems and it was determined that the smoke did not contaminate the food being processed inside the building, he said.
“They’re very, very careful,” Culbertson said. “It’s highly controlled.”
The right-hand lane of southbound Highway 101 had to be closed near Julian Street as a result of the fire, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Ralph Caggiano. A Sig-alert was issued for the area at 5:19 p.m., Caggiano said, and a second lane was close for about 20 minutes at 8 p.m.
Both lanes were reopened at 8:20 p.m. and the Sig-alert was lifted, Caggiano said. Traffic was not affected by the closures, he said.
The cause of the fire had been determined Sunday, Culbertson said.