The Christmas tree had reportedly not been properly watered, and easily ignited

By Rachel DeSantis
December 16, 2020 10:57 AM
house fire
House fire in San Jose
| Credit: San Jose fire department/ twitter

Two people were injured in a California house fire that began after an apparent electrical mishap ignited a Christmas tree, authorities said.

One firefighter was hospitalized with minor injuries, while a resident of the home was treated on the scene following the blaze on Lick Avenue, the San Jose Fire Department said on Twitter.

San Jose Fire Captain Peter Caponio told KPIX that multiple calls came in regarding the fire around 4 a.m. on Tuesday.

“According to the residents, it looked like the fire started where the Christmas tree was,” he said. “The fire spread rapidly throughout the house and into the attic.”

After speaking with the residents, authorities believe that the blaze began after a faulty electrical outlet ignited the Christmas tree, which had not been properly watered, The Mercury News reported.

“You need to be aware, especially when [Christmas trees] have been sitting for a while,” Caponio told KPIX. “They get brittle and can go up real easily.”

RELATED VIDEO: Jennifer Lawrence's Family Farm in Kentucky Burns Down in a 'Horrible Fire'

Authorities said on Twitter that four residents and one dog were displaced, while the Mercury News reported that three pets remained unaccounted for.

The injured resident suffered from smoke inhalation, while the injured firefighter encountered “obstacles” in the home and fell, according to KPIX.

More than one of every four home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems, and of those, one in four is caused by a heat source too close to the tree, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

The NFPA advises cutting 2 inches from the tree trunk’s base before putting it in a tree stand, and making sure it’s at least 3 feet away from any heat sources, including fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.

Homeowners should also add water to the tree stand daily to keep it from becoming dried out.