Chicago had a 2-1 lead in the 72nd minute, but Joel Lindpere put the ball into his own net and thus allowed San Jose to tie the contest.
Rolfe made up for that miscue by taking a pass from Mike Magee and scoring from close range.
Dilly Duka and Patrick Nyarko also scored for the Fire (6-7-3), who moved into a sixth-place tie with New England in the Eastern Conference.
San Jose came up with a goal from Alan Gordon in the 14th minute. The Earthquakes fell to 5-8-6.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]