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Nut Company Fire Operations Expected to be Lengthy

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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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Bomb Squad Called to Mobile Home Park

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STANISLAUS COUNTY – The Stanislaus County Sheriff Bomb Squad responded to a mobile home park Wednesday afternoon for a report of a suspicious package.

The incident happened on the 8000 block of Jantzen Road. Sheriff deputies responded and temporarily closed off access to the park and evacuated neighboring homes.

The Sheriff Bomb Squad later determined the package to be a box of magnets wrapped in leather. The box was delivered to the residence, however no one had ordered it, according to authorities at the scene.

By 3:15pm, access to the park was re-opened to residents.

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Shooting Victim Expected to Survive

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HUGHSON – Authorities investigated a shooting that injured a 27 year old man Monday afternoon.

The shooting happened shortly before 1:00pm at a mobile home park on Nunes Road, just outside of Keyes. Early reports indicated an argument between a man and a woman had taken place. The report also indicated that the man was trying to enter the woman’s home and she was being attacked.

Deputies found the man in the driveway of the residence suffering from a gunshot wound. He was taken to a hospital for treatment and was expected to survive.

The involved woman received minor injuries. Authorities do not believe she is the shooter in the case.

Crime scene technicians and investigators responded to examine the scene and gather evidence, however no suspect identity was available Monday afternoon.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Detective Esquivez at (209) 567-4466 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.

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Authorities Capture Amber Alert Suspect Wanted for Murder

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Photo: San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY – Authorities on Saturday announced the capture of D Angelo Webb after acting on a tip.

Webb was arrested after five hours of negotiation with the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office. A community tip was credited in helping locate Webb on Ambrose Avenue in the city of Bay Point.

Residents in the home where Webb was found were evacuated, while authorities negotiated for his surrender.

Webb was wanted for the murder of 24 year old Brandi Hornsby and attempted murder of her mother. Authorities allege that Webb stabbed Hornsby’s mother on the 3900 block of East Fremont Street in Stockton. Hornsby was found deceased in the home.

An Amber Alert was issued the night of the attack for six week old Ggiana Webb. The child was located safe with a relative within a couple hours the same night.

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