The Home Depot fire in California creates a heat signal seen from space



San Jose firefighters contained a fire at a Home Depot that was so big and hot it could be seen from space.

Authorities first responded to the structure fire at five alarms around 5 p.m. Saturday, CNN affiliate KGO-TV reported. In the early hours of the fire, the heat signature was so large it could be observed from space, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

“Structural fire seen from space!” the The NWS office in the San Francisco Bay Area tweeted. “GOES West Meso Sector picking [up] a heat signature just south of San Jose.

The fire plume also appeared on weather radar, the local weather service said.

The fire was deemed “under control” around 11:45 p.m. the San Jose Fire Department (SJFD) said in a tweet.

All Home Depot employees have been located and no injuries have been reported to firefighters or citizens, SJFD said. A pet hospital adjacent to the fire was evacuated.

Initially, residents living near the Home Depot were ordered by the SJFD to shelter in place due to heavy smoke.

“San Jose Fire Hazardous Occurrence Team Members Rate Air Quality as ‘Unhealthy’ Throughout the Night”, SJFD tweeted. “Air quality will be reassessed in the morning.”

The shelter in place was lifted around 1 p.m. (4 p.m. ET) on Sunday.

Crews remained at the scene on Sunday as the fire was “still smoldering and producing light smoke”. according to SJFD.

The Home Depot is “pretty much a total loss”, SJPD Battalion Chief Brad Cloutier told KGO-TV. “The roof is pretty much collapsed from the whole structure, so it will take some time to get in there if we can – if it’s going to be safe for our people to get in there.”

Home Depot buyer Philip Hurst told CNN he had just put his purchases in his car when he heard a commotion and saw people running out of the store.

He said he headed for the entrance and shot a video flames burning in the store.

“The fire alarm went off and I rushed over to see what was going on. The fire alarm went off and I walked over to get a good view just out of curiosity,” Hurst told CNN.

The sound of someone shouting “get out of the building” can be heard in the video, but Hurst said people didn’t seem panicked as they left the store. Hurst said firefighters arrived a minute or two after they shot the video.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


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