2 women rescued from apartment set on fire in San Jose

Bay Area

A dramatic, chaotic scene on Monday morning as two women were rescued from a burning building in San Jose.

The fire started on the second floor of an apartment building on Menker Avenue near San Jose City College.

One person was hospitalized as neighbors say the fire started amid suspicious circumstances.

This dramatic cellphone video shows firefighters rescuing Magdalena Espinoza and her dog from her second-floor apartment to escape the smoke and flames pouring from the apartment right next door.

Speaking through her daughter, Espinoza said the window was the only way out.

“She is diabetic and was very scared,” the rescued woman’s daughter Milagros Gusman said. “It was dark, and she couldn’t see for the smoke and that’s when the firefighters came in.”

The fire department says a second woman was also safely rescued while a man in the burning apartment was hospitalized with significant injuries.

A man suspected of starting the fire is reportedly under psychiatric evaluation.

Neighbors said they heard an angry commotion before the fire started.

“We heard a man and woman arguing and then there was an explosion and someone yelling that he was burned and that’s when I saw the fire,” neighbor Jacqueline Seles said.

Ten people and several animals were displaced by the fire.

Arson investigators were on scene for much of the day.

Espinoza says she has never been so scared.

“She opened the door and saw the flames coming toward her, and then she closed the door and went into the bedroom and was looking for her dog and then the firefighters came with the ladder and took her down.”

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