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Massive Fire Destroys American Lumber Company

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MODESTO – A massive downtown fire tore through the American Lumber Company Friday morning.

The fire was dispatched shortly after midnight at the American Lumber Company on 9th Street. By 12:30am the fire was advanced to a third alarm, summoning personnel from Modesto, Ceres and Stanislaus Consolidated.

Police officers closed much of 9th Street and surrounding roadways to traffic. Multiple engines and at least three ladder trucks were utilized to fight the intense flames, however several buildings collapsed from extensive damage.

The flames cast a bright orange glow against the nearby Double Tree Hotel. Smoke and fire could be seen from as far as Salida.

By 2:00am much of the flames had died down. In total 13 engines, 5 trucks and 5 chief officers were on scene, totaling to about 64 firefighters.

A fire load of lumber proved challenging for firefighters. The downtown water system was maxed out, limiting the amount of pressure provided to fire equipment. Power lines had collapsed, but utility crews shut off power to the area to allow firefighters to work. The railroads behind the business were shut down. Officials said some railroad ties were damaged and would require inspection.

Investigators were on scene working to determine a cause.

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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Car Crash Causes Chain Reaction of Power Outages, Fires

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MODESTO – A vehicle that collided into a utility pole Thursday afternoon caused a chain reaction of power outages and fires in a West Modesto neighborhood.

The incident happened Thursday shortly before 12:30pm. A vehicle collision near Rouse and Roselawn Avenues involving a utility pole caused power lines to snap mid-block to the west. The energized lines collapsed and sparked a fire that quickly engulfed at least one outbuilding. The fire began to spread south consuming vegetation and jumping fences into neighboring properties.

Several fire crews responded from various agencies, including Turlock City and Manteca. Firefighters were able to control the forward spread of the fire mid-block on Colorado Avenue. Some neighbors used garden hoses to defend their properties as best as they could.

Emergency crews were on scene for several hours. Utility crews de-energized the damaged lines for repair. Several residents in the area were without power for some time while repairs were made.

The driver of the involved car that crashed into a utility pole was not located. Police officers responded to investigate. There was an apparent auto theft nearby roughly around the same time, but authorities weren’t sure if the incidents were connected.

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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Shooting Claims Man’s Life, Injures Another

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STOCKTON – Police investigated a shooting that fatally wounded a man and injured another Tuesday night.

Police officers responded to the 1800 block of South San Joaquin at about 9:42pm for a report of a shooting. Arriving officers found two men suffering from gunshot wounds.

One victim, a 33 year old man, died from his injuries at the scene. The second victim, a 41 year old man, was transported to a hospital for treatment and is expected to survive.

A witness in the area who wished to remain anonymous said they heard a disturbance down the street shortly before the gunfire. They described what appeared to be someone running away, but couldn’t make out a description.

The intersection of San Joaquin and Fourth Strets were closed off by police. The crime scene extended to South Sutter Street. Detectives responded to investigate the shooting, however no motive or suspect description was available for release Wednesday.

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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Deputies Investigate Report of Shooting Near Mobile Home Park

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MODESTO – Deputies investigated a report of a shooting near a South Modesto mobile home park Sunday night.

The incident was reported shortly before midnight near the Modesto Mobile Village on South Seventh Street. Arriving deputies located one person with an injury. An ambulance responded to the scene to treat the injured person but it appeared they did not require hospitalization.

Several people appeared to be detained by deputies nearby during the investigation. An area west of an entrance to the mobile home park was taped off as a crime scene.

No further details were available at time of publication.

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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