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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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Several Detained Near Homicide Scene

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STOCKTON – Police have detained several persons of interest in connection to Sunday’s homicide.

Shortly before 5:00pm officers with the Stockton Police Department were involved in a vehicle pursuit in the area of West Lane and Knickerbocker Drive. The area is near where a 20 year old man was fatally shot Sunday afternoon.

Officials said they had detained several persons of interest in relation to the case.

The shopping center where Sunday’s homicide took place has been the location of previous shootings and at least one more homicide this year.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the Stockton Police Department at (209) 937-8377 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 946-0600 where callers can remain anonymous.

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First lunar eclipse of the year visible across the valley

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RIPON – The lunar eclipse takes place only during a full moon when Earth is in between the sun and moon, casting a shadow on the surface of the moon. The bright colored moon which attracts spectators is only seen once every 1.5 years, estimated by NASA.

The lunar eclipse was estimated to begin its deep penumbral stage at 7:15pm on May 15, 2022. By 7:59pm it should have reached the 50% partial stage. Totality began at 8:29pm and the full color everyone was waiting to see occurred at around 9:11pm. That rare sight began to end by 9:54pm. It was 50% partial by 10:23pm and reached its deep penumbral stage by 11:10pm where it ended.

Weather for the total lunar eclipse in some areas caused some to miss out on the rare occurrence. In Ripon and Stockton light cloud coverage crossed the mid stages of the eclipse. Meanwhile in some Modesto areas it was visible. National Weather Service estimated the temperature to be in the mid 60s to upper 70s for the valley.

Although a total lunar eclipse occurs only around every 1.5 years, your next opportunity to see it again will be November 7th 2022 going on to the eighth.

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Stockton Police Investigate Homicide

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Officers investigate a homicide Sunday afternoon near West Lane and Knickerbocker Drive.

STOCKTON – Police investigated the fatal shooting of a 20 year old man Sunday afternoon.

Shortly before 5:00pm, authorities responded to the area of West Lane and Knickerbocker drive for a report of a person shot. Arriving officers located a 20 year old man who had suffered at least one gunshot wound. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Detectives responded to the scene to investigate the shooting, however no suspect information or motive was available.

The area has been the scene of at least two other shootings this year, one of them fatal. At least one business in the shopping center appears to have since closed after the shootings.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the Stockton Police Department at (209) 937-8377 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 946-0600 where callers can remain anonymous.

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