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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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Police Investigate Reported Shooting

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MODESTO – Police responded to a report of a person shot Thursday near a busy intersection.

Shortly before noon officers were called to a report of a shooting near the intersection of McHenry and Orangeburg Avenues.

Early reports indicate one person was found injured near a bus stop. Arriving first responders attempted life saving measures.

The parking lot of the Pep Boys/Advance Auto Parts was closed off as a crime scene along with Orangeburg Avenue east of McHenry Avenue. By 12:30, investigators were arriving on scene.

One person may have been detained, a second person may have ran to a hospital for care. Stay tuned for further details.

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

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Shooting Investigated in South Modesto

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MODESTO – Emergency personnel responded to a report of a person shot Saturday night near Imperial Avenue.

Shortly before 10:00pm emergency personnel responded to the 100 block of Imperial Avenue for a report of a person shot. Arriving deputies located one person who was shot in a pathway between Imperial and Glenn. Fire and medical crews also responded to the scene.

There was no confirmed suspect information available at time of publication, but it was believed the person responsible fled the area on foot.

The area was taped off by deputies.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.

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Shooting Investigated on Pacific Avenue

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STOCKTON – Officers with the Stockton Police Department investigated a report of a person shot late Thursday morning near Sherwood Mall.

The shooting happened at about 10:45am in the mall’s parking lot. Early reports indicate at least one person was struck by gunfire. The area was taped off and surrounding roadways were closed to traffic.

An alert from San Joaquin Delta College read as follows:

“Mustang Alert!: Police Activity at Mall – Shooting across from Stockton campus at the mall. Suspects fled away from campus. Delta is safe. Avoid Pacific Avenue.”

Anyone with information regarding this incident 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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