Big blaze at Holy Cross Church destroys a beloved structure in San Jose

Nov 17, 2014 614

by Joe Rodriguez

Holy Cross Catholic Church, a century-old center of a beloved parish, where Mass was still recited in Italian, burned down Sunday afternoon in a four-alarm fire. "This was home, and now it's gone," said Catherine Ventimiglia, who attended the Italian Mass that ended minutes before the fire broke out around 2 p.m. "We are stunned. My legs are numb from this."

San Jose Fire Department Capt. Mike Van Elgort said the cause of the fire was not known, but the blaze did spread rapidly through the second floor and then to the roof. More than 100 firefighting personnel were still struggling to control the blaze in the late afternoon. By then, the roof had collapsed and two minarets had tumbled. "It's made of heavy timber, old construction methods and old dry wood," Van Elgort said. "It's a beautiful building. It's a tragedy to see it demolished."

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