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3 dead, 3 injured after late-night fire in San Jose apartment

December 30, 2012 | 10:30 am

San Jose fire officials were still working to determine the cause of a Saturday night fire that ripped through an apartment, killing three people, injuring three others and forcing the evacuation of nearly 60 people who lived nearby.

The first 911 call about the fire in the 3600 block of Bridgeport Court came at 11:10 p.m. Saturday, San Jose Fire Department Capt. Mary Gutierrez said. Several other calls followed. Crews called for a second alarm after receiving reports that people were possibly trapped inside the burning second-story apartment, she said.

Firefighters arrived at 11:15 p.m. and found "a lot of chaos going on," Gutierrez said. The entire apartment was ablaze, and it took about 60 firefighters until just after 1 a.m. Sunday to bring the fire under control.

Three people were found dead inside, Gutierrez said. Their names and ages have not been released, but Gutierrez said the victims were a man, a woman and a child.

Three people were treated for smoke inhalation, Gutierrez said. Two were described as civilians; the third a San Jose police officer who Gutierrez said "heroically" entered the burning apartment and rescued someone inside.

Their conditions were not available Sunday morning.

The fire also displaced at least 56 people living in the same building, Gutierrez said. The Red Cross arrived to help find alternative housing for those in need.

The blaze was contained to the one apartment, but Gutierrez said a unit below suffered significant water damage as a result.

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— Kate Mather

Follow Kate Mather on Twitter or Google+.

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