Fire officials will continue to monitor site of massive Santa Clara blaze

SANTA CLARA — Firefighters on Saturday are continuing to
monitor the site of a four-alarm fire Friday that
ripped through a 56-unit luxury condominium complex
under
construction in Santa Clara.

There was no update Saturday morning as to the cause of the
conflagration, which threw thick plumes of smoke into the sky that
could be seen for miles and sent construction workers running for
their lives. At least one “person of interest” was detained
near the scene at about 12:30 p.m. Friday and later released
without any charges, according to Santa Clara police Capt. Wahid
Kazem.

The blaze ignited at the Anantara Villas, 1850 El Camino Real,
just after 11 a.m. Friday, but firefighters were able to douse the
flames by 1:30 p.m. One worker injured his leg when jumping from
scaffolding to escape the roaring flames. He was expected to
recover.

A painstaking investigation is now underway, said Battalion
Chief Drew Miller with the Santa Clara Fire Department. That will
involve sifting through surveillance video of the scene,
interviewing workers and witnesses, collecting bystanders’
photographs and footage of the blaze — a process with an
“indeterminate” time frame, he said.

“There’s a lot of information to be gathered,” Miller
said. “Depending on what facts are uncovered, that could change
or lengthen the investigation.”

The Santa Clara Fire Department, along with the Santa Clara
police and the Santa Clara County Fire Investigation Task Force,
are all investigating the blaze, he said.

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In the meantime, Miller said an engine crew will remain on scene to
douse any hot spots and monitor the building, which is at risk of
collapsing in various places. It’s too unstable for firefighters
to enter, he said, so they will have to disassemble the charred
scaffolding before they can ensure the debris inside isn’t still
smoldering and continue the investigation.

“While the investigation is ongoing, we will maintain control
of the scene,” Miller said.

Shortly after 10 a.m. Saturday, authorities reopened the
westbound lanes of El Camino Real between Lincoln Street and Scott
Boulevard, which were completely closed due to the fire. The
eastbound lanes remain closed but authorities estimated they would
open later Saturday evening.

Anyone with video footage, photographs or information about the
fire is encouraged to call the Santa Clara Fire Department at (408)
615-4900 or email fire@santaclaraca.gov.

Source: FS – All – Real Estate News 1
Fire officials will continue to monitor site of massive Santa Clara blaze