San Jose, California Fire Spares Family, Destroys House

San Jose fire officials say a family of 10 was lucky to escape alive and uninjured early Thursday morning after flames and smoke engulfed almost their entire house.

''It is amazing they got out,'' said Capt. Allison Cabral. ''When our crews arrived on scene, there was smoke and flame coming from every side of the house.'' Cabral said the family was awakened by the smoke, but that the smoke detectors in the hallways didn't work. She said she hoped the near-tragedy serves as a reminder to other people to check their smoke detectors regularly.

The fire department was called to 3201 Modred Drive in the city's Berryessa district at 5:02 a.m., and arrived four minutes later to a house that was already fully engulfed in fire. The family members were all safely outside with no injuries.

Cabral said the family was receiving assistance from the Red Cross and the city housing agency.

She estimated the loss of the destroyed house at up to $240,000. Fire investigators were on the scene to try to determine the cause of the fire.

Distributed by the Associated Press