SAN JOSE-San Jose fire and emergency officials made a lengthy presentation to the city council yesterday about the fires that destroyed part of the Santana Row residential and shopping complex and nearby residences.

Council members reviewed a 52-page report about the fire. The report said that Santa Clara County’s mutual aid system–which calls for emergency services from throughout the region to respond to major disasters–needs to be improved. As well, investigators state they have not yet determined the cause of the Santana Row fire, but they suspect foul play.

The Aug. 19 fires reached a combined 11 alarms and destroyed a full-block structure located at the intersection of Stevens Creek and Winchester boulevards. A group of apartments and condominiums were also damaged and destroyed by ancillary fires started by embers that blew more than one-quarter mile to the area around Moorpark and Huff avenues, across Interstate 280 from the development.

San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales praised the city’s fire and emergency personnel for the efforts in fighting the largest fire in modern city history. There were no deaths or injuries as a result of the fires. “This was not the average fire that we responded to; I think it is important to remember that,” Gonzales says.”This was a tremendous fire met with a tremendous effort.”

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