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Stolen Car Burns Down Two Homes

No Injuries Fortunately

FOUR JUVENILES IN A STOLEN CAR crashed into a San Jose, California, house Friday night setting it on fire.  The blaze spread to the house next door and both homes were total losses.

KTVU-TV

The eventful joyride began when a police cruiser saw the car driving through town shortly before midnight without the headlights turned on and tried to pull it over.  The driver instead took off in an attempt to evade the police but only traveled a little over a block before it veered off the road and into a corner of a house, severing a gas line as it came to rest.

The San Jose Mercury-News continues:

Al Lucero, 46, who lives directly across the street from that house, said he had just turned off his television and was getting ready to go to bed when he heard the sound of sirens approaching. "Then I heard a big loud boom," he said.

By the time Lucero got outside, a police officer had one male in handcuffs on the ground, and two parked cars and the stolen vehicle were on fire.

As the corner house went up in flames, Lucero said, half a dozen police officers arrived and began banging on neighbors' doors to get people out of the two houses.

The first-in fire units found both houses fully involved and a second alarm was struck bringing a total of 40 firefighters to the scene.  It took 4 hours to have the fires fully extinquished.  Fire crews arrived in six minutes but initially had trouble stopping the flow of gas because the line broke at a spot beyond where the shutoff valve is, rendering the valve useless, San Jose Fire Capt. Scott Ackemann told the press.

"The gas was a big concern, there was free-flowing gas," said Ackemann. "We had a hard time fighting the fire."

The driver of the car was booked into the juvenile detention center and the other three were released to their parents' custody.

Bay Area News Group

The Mercury-News has the STORY.
KTVU-TV has some fire footage in a brief raw video HERE.

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