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Nut Company Fire Operations Expected to be Lengthy

Carlos Rodriguez

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MODESTO – A massive fire that tore through two warehouses and several tons of nut product was expected to keep firefighters busy overnight and into Monday.

The fire was dispatched at about 1:30pm near the intersection of River Road and Bunker Avenue. With the fire being an unknown type, initially a single Ceres Fire engine was dispatched. Officials at the scene say employees at the Pepsi facility called in the fire.

Arriving firefighters encountered major smoke and flame from behind a warehouse on Bunker Avenue, calling for a commercial structure fire response. Additional resources in downtown Ceres observed heavy smoke conditions from the fire, and soon more resources were called to the scene. In total, three alarms were called on the fire.

The fire was consuming about 1,000 tons of nut product according to Bret Presson, a Battalion Chief with the Ceres Fire Department. The fire had begun to extend into the warehouse and office building which it would eventually also destroy. Several crates and trailers were also destroyed.

The flames were extending so much that it also caught the roof of a neighboring beverage company warehouse on fire. The fire caused a lighting fixture to collapse into the building, scrambling firefighters to prevent any further damage there.

Resources county wide were drained during the firefight. Presson said a total of 19 engines, 4 trucks and 4 water tenders responded to battle the blaze. San Joaquin County sent a strike team of firefighters to cover additional calls within Stanislaus County while crews were tied up on Bunker Avenue.

The City of Modesto sent a backhoe and front loader to assist fire crews. Presson explained that the incident was a challenge in the fact that the nut product had to be separated and drowned to be properly extinguished, similar to a hay fire. Utility companies also were called to respond to secure gas and electricity.

Eight chief officers and a Modesto training officer responded due to the complexity of the fire. One firefighter suffered a heat related illness and was transported to a hospital. Presson said he was treated and released shortly after and sent home to recover.

Firefighters were expected to remain at the scene overnight and into Monday to continue extinguishing flames, which at 10:00pm were still visible. Smoke continued to drift south into Ceres.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Carlos Rodriguez is an Emmy Award winning photojournalist specializing in public safety and natural disasters. His passion for local news stems from a deep commitment to his community, with a selfless mission to inform the citizens of the valley. As he worked on assignment for 19 days at the devastating Camp Fire in Paradise, California, he spent most of his time helping survivors contact their loved ones to let them know they were ok. Carlos is a veteran of Univision, FOX, and Telemundo TV stations and a native of Modesto, California.

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Investigators Seek Help in Homicide Case

Gaby Muro

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Photo: San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office

STOCKTON – Homicide detectives with the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office are looking for help in a homicide case that occurred near the 4100 block of East Fremont Street on October 17th, 2020.

Investigators say on October 17th, 25-year-old Alvaro Morales-Yac was shot and killed while inside his vehicle at a gas station.

Detectives say the male suspect appears to be heavyset, with a goatee and Hispanic. They believe the suspect is in his 30’s. The suspect was driving a light metallic sedan at the time of the homicide. Investigators believe the car is a 2017 or 2018 Hyundai Elantra.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Detective Wait at (209) 373-9057.

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Fatal Shooting Investigated on Bystrum Road

Gaby Muro

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MODESTO – Detectives investigated a shooting that claimed the life of one person Monday night.

The shooting happened shortly before 11:00pm on Bystrum Road near Lombardo Avenue. Deputies arrived to find a victim who was suffering from a gunshot wound. That victim was transported to a hospital for care but later died.

Authorities did not have any available suspect information and said no arrests had been made. Investigators were seeking the victim’s family Tuesday for notification.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.

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Update: Stockton Shooting Claims Teen’s Life

Gaby Muro

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STOCKTON – A 17 year old boy died from injuries sustained during a shooting Monday morning.

Shortly after 11:30am, officers with the Stockton Police Department responded to a report of gunfire near the 900 block of North Madison Street. While investigating, the victim arrived at an area hospital.

Several blocks in the neighborhood were taped off as a crime scene. Officers used a drone to document evidence, and a surveillance truck was parked in the neighborhood as well.

The teen later died from his injuries. No motive or suspect information was available Monday evening.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at (209) 946-0600 where callers can remain anonymous.

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