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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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World War II Era Plane Crashes Near Stockton

Carlos Rodriguez

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Photo - San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY – Authorities are investigating a plane crash that occurred Saturday evening in a rural area not far from the Weston Ranch community.

At 7:39pm the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office reported a military plane had crashed in the area of South Roberts and Muller Roads.

Early reports indicate the craft had three persons aboard. Two were transported to a hospital and the third was able to walk away from the crash. The craft appeared to have significant damage.

The aircraft appeared to be a Mitchell B-25J called “Old Glory.” The plane is listed as owned by David Prescott of the Prescott Foundation.

Most recently in early September, the craft flew to Hawaii to commemorate the end of World War II, as well as delivered 30 pallets of toys to the islands for Toys for Tots.

Authorities say the airplane struck an irrigation ditch as it came down, and the injuries sustained were not life threatening.

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Major Crash Investigated in Tracy

Carlos Rodriguez

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TRACY – Authorities investigated a major vehicle collision with several fatalities, early reports indicate.

The collision happened on the Tracy Boulevard onramp to Westbound Interstate 205 Friday evening. At the scene, a gray sedan appeared to have collided against a pair of palm trees. Early indications suggest the vehicle was fleeing from authorities during a pursuit.

The onramp was closed down to traffic while officers with the California Highway Patrol investigated. Two ambulances were at the scene, but cleared the area at about 8:45pm.

A crowd gathered at a nearby gas station shortly after the crash, presumably relatives of the occupants of the vehicle which had caught fire.

By 9:00pm the onramp remained closed for investigation.

Radio traffic audio of the incident from the California Highway Patrol can be found below.

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Newman Police, Stanislaus Sheriff Officials Investigate Shooting Death

Gaby Muro

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NEWMAN – Authorities investigated the shooting death of a man as a homicide Thursday morning.

Officers with the Newman Police Department responded to the area of T-Street and Inyo Avenue at about 6:00am for a report of a gunfire. The male victim was found deceased from the gunshot wound.

Authorities taped off T Street between Inyo Avenue and Patchett Drive. An evidence marker was placed on the ground in front of a Newman Police vehicle in the driveway of a home, while investigators took measurements with tools and examined the area.

The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office responded to assist in the investigation. No further details were released by authorities.

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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