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.
Fire Burns Along San Joaquin River Near Newman
NEWMAN – A brush fire burning along the San Joaquin River summoned a response from multiple fire crews Thursday.
At about 2:00pm firefighters responded to the area near Hills Ferry and River Roads for a report of a brush fire. Arriving fire crews requests more resources to the scene as the fire quickly grew.
By 2:30pm the fire had begun to burn on the east side of the San Joaquin River. Several trees, bushes, grass and at least one structure all caught fire.
Firefighters from Newman, West Stanislaus, Merced County, Mountainview and Woodland Avenue all responded to the scene. Newman Police and CHP officers provided traffic control.
No cause was available Tuesday afternoon.
Firefighters Respond to Brush Fire
STANISLAUS COUNTY – Firefighters from Salida and Escalon responded to a vegetation fire on Carver Road Tuesday night.
The fire was reported shortly after 10:00pm on Carver Road just north of Ladd Road. Neighbors in the area reported hearing a boom shortly before seeing flames burning into dry brush. One neighbor said it appeared the fire was growing quickly, but the response from firefighters was just as fast.
The fire burned on both sides of Carver Road and extended to a few acres. It was controlled in about an hour by fire crews. A cause was unavailable Tuesday night.
Police Investigate Report of Stabbing
MODESTO – Police responded to a report of a person stabbed Tuesday night near Downtown Modesto.
The report was dispatched shortly after 9:00pm to the area of Tenth and K Streets. Early reports indicate the victim was stabbed and fled to Cesar Chavez Park where he called for help.
Police, fire and medical personnel responded to the park where they located the victim. He appeared to have visible wounds and blood on his back. He was taken by ambulance for care.
Officers searched the area near where the stabbing was said to have occurred for any signs of a crime scene. A confirmed suspect description and circumstances surrounding the incident were not available at time of publication.
Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the Modesto Police Department or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.
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