SAN JOSE (AP) — Three people were killed and three others were injured — including a police officer credited with saving at least one person — in a late-night fire at a San Jose apartment complex, authorities said Sunday.
The officer and firefighters called to the complex shortly after 11 p.m. Saturday found people trapped in an apartment on the second floor of the building, San Jose Fire Department Capt. Mary Gutierrez said Sunday.
The police officer, who has not been named, entered the burning apartment and pulled at least one person to safety, Gutierrez said.
"He was one of the first on the scene," Gutierrez said. "He had a fire extinguisher, entered the burning apartment and performed at least one rescue. He got somebody out of that burning apartment."
After firefighters put the fire out, the bodies of a man, a woman and a child were recovered, Gutierrez said.
The police officer was one of three people taken to the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation, Gutierrez said. She did not know the condition of the officer or of the two other people hospitalized. Their names have not been released, and San Jose police did not immediately return a call seeking information about the officer.
It was expected to take a few days before the names of the victims would be released, said Santa Clara County coroner's investigator Rosa Vega.
The fire left 56 people homeless, and it was not known when they would be allowed to return to their apartments, Gutierrez said. "We can't let anybody back in until the investigation is complete," Gutierrez said.
They were assisted by the American Red Cross, with about half being put up in hotels, said Red Cross spokeswoman Kathleen Maclay.
Meanwhile, investigators were looking through the rubble of the apartment and interviewing witnesses as they tried to determine what sparked the fire.
It took hours for nearly 60 firefighters to gain control of the fire, which was confined to just the single second-floor unit, officials said.