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Earthquake, candle may have sparked Milpitas fire

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A fire that damaged a Milpitas apartment building on Monday was apparently caused by a candle that was left unattended and may have fallen during an earthquake that day, fire officials said.

The fire was reported at 1:10 p.m. at a unit at the Montevista Apartments at 1001 S. Main St.

Crews arrived to find water pouring from an upstairs unit and entered the building to see that the building’s sprinklers had extinguished a small fire burning in a bedroom, fire officials said.

The cause of the blaze was determined to be a candle left burning and unattended. A small earthquake had struck the South Bay earlier so fire officials said it was possible that the quake caused a small picture and frame to fall onto the candle and start the fire.

The blaze damaged the unit where it started as well as the one below it, causing an estimated $148,000 in total damage, according to the fire department.

Fire officials stressed that candles should never be left unattended since they are the cause of many unintentional fires.

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