Neighbors return home after massive fire in Santa Clara

Bay Area

SANTA CLARA (KRON) – Evacuated residents on Clay Street in Santa Clara are praising firefighters for saving their neighborhood. 

Clean up and investigation efforts continued in Santa Clara following that massive fire on El Camino Real that destroyed a construction site.

A cause has not yet been determined on this enormous blaze.

The air continues to be smokey and a handful of firefighters worked to put out hot spots that were still burning well into the afternoon on Saturday.

Investigators weren’t able to get into the site safely until around 5 p.m.

Torched scaffolding was torn down and several hot spots extinguished — El Camino Real remained partially closed off more than 24 hours after the fire erupted at a condominium construction site Friday.

“We were lucky. This was just our luck and the task that the firefighters put in. They came on time and did everything,” says a resident.

Neighbors on Clay Street who had been evacuated during the blaze gathered Saturday to plan a ‘thank you block party’ for Santa Clara Fire.

“I always appreciate the work of the firefighters, they did a great job,” the resident says.

“It’s all because of them that the Clay Street residents are intact right now. It was very scary,” Raj Chahal said.

Santa Clara City Councilman Raj Chahal visited with residents who’s fences were partially torn down during the firefight.

Residents say this is why they were concerned when the city approved the project that would build 58 condos just 20 feet from their homes.

“When we opposed this project we were saying it’s too close to our homes,” the resident said.

“This should give us some sort of point on what we should and shouldn’t do because the fire department couldn’t go into the construction part in the back area so how we can learn from the fire department,” Chahal said.

Councilman Chahal says though this could’ve been much worse – It is still quite the setback as the city faces a housing crisis.

“We need every house now and this project will go delayed by one year at least because it was around 25% completed,” Chahal said.

The manager of what was supposed to be the condominium complex said they had just about 15 units left to lease when it went up in flames.

There was a person detained for questioning on Friday, but they were eventually released. Santa Clara police say that man remains a person of interest.

They likely won’t be able to determine whether this was arson or not for several days.

All streets surrounding the area are now back open.

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