Firefighters tackle three-alarm apartment blaze Saturday night

The Gilroy Fire Department and three other agencies responded to a three-alarm fire Saturday night within an apartment complex on the 400 block of Broadway Street in Gilroy, according to GFD Chief Alan Anderson.
The fire started at approximately 6:30 p.m. at 420 Broadway St., and with the assistance of the South Santa Clara County Fire District, Morgan Hill Fire Department and San Jose Fire Department, a total of 21 firefighters knocked the blaze back within an hour, Anderson added.
Though the cause of the blaze remains under investigation, GFD says it could have started in the kitchen area of a unit on the first floor before consuming another unit on the second floor.
After arriving on scene, firefighters moved door-to-door, evacuating residents of the building’s 12 occupied units. The entire complex was evacuated in time, Anderson said.
“We want to get the building evacuated as fast as we can and we started fighting it on the first floor,” he explained. “We knocked that fire down and the crews moved to the second floor. It’s challenging for us when we have fire on two different levels.”
According to Anderson, there was one reported injury to a Gilroy man and no reported injuries to firefighters.
“There was one injury to a civilian who had a cut on his finger. He tried to fight the fire with a fire extinguisher and may have cut his finger on a piece of glass,” Anderson added.
And while GFD crews and other agencies were battling the blaze, the San Jose Fire Department volunteered to send out four fire engines, two trucks and a battalion chief to assist in handling Gilroy’s other emergency calls.
The GFD also requested the aid of a Red Cross representative, who set up an emergency tent on scene to help displaced residents of the fire with everything from food to clothing.
“They’re able to provide motel vouchers if needed, food and shelter assistance. They really are great partners,” Anderson said. “These are volunteers in our community; they put on the Red Cross vest and come to help their neighbors. It’s very noble of folks like that to help their community.”

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