At 4:16 A.M. on Monday, July 5, the San Jose Fire Department received multiple reports a fire inside Trace Elementary School at 651 Dana Ave. in . Units arrived to find the school well involved. At 4:53 A.M., SJFD paged Fire Associates as the fire went to a 3rd alarm. When Don Gilbert arrived on scene with Fire Support Unit 2 at 5:30 A.M., San Jose was calling for a sixth alarm. Don was met at Station 6 by Bruce Dembecki and they were met on scene by Fire Associates members Jerry Haag, Ron Green and Larry Carr.
At the peak of activity, San Jose and Santa Clara Fire Departments had master streams flowing from SIX ladder trucks, along with deck guns, remote monitors and hand lines. Water pressure was a problem -- given the thousands and thousands of gallons-per-minute were flowing into the fire building. Ultimately, the main building of San Jose Unified School District's largest elementary school was destroyed, loosing 16 classrooms along with the library and media centers.
Fire Support Unit 2 was released around 10:30 A.M., while fire operations continued for several days after the event. The cause of the fire is under investigation.