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Vigil Held for Fire Victims

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MODESTO – A vigil was held in front of a home where two residents lost their lives in a fire Wednesday morning and three others were injured.

At least a couple hundred people attended the vigil, where those who knew the victims placed flowers, candles and balloons at the home where a fire consumed a home Wednesday morning. Some played music while others prayed.

Maria Elena Cabrera and her son Marcos Garcia died in the fire. Witnesses reported Cabrera ran back into the home during the fire after her son didn’t exit. Cabrera’s husband and two younger children managed to escape. Two of them were airlifted by helicopter to burn centers, the third was treated on scene by medical personnel. (Our previous article incorrectly reported three children were injured in the fire. The correct information is two children and one adult.)

The fire happened shortly after 7:00am on El Sereno Street in the Rancho Encantado neighborhood in South Modesto. Fire crews found heavy fire and smoke conditions on arrival, and upon learning about trapped residents requested a second alarm for more resources. Rescue strategies were executed, using ladders and making entry through windows.

Ammunition found in the home along with aerosol containers complicated the situation for fire crews trying to bring the situation under control according to Modesto Fire Chief Alan Ernst.

Investigators with the Modesto Police Department, Stanislaus Regional Fire Investigations Unit and other agencies were on scene examining the home well into Wednesday afternoon. Early reports indicated several callers reported fireworks going off around the time of the fire, but that has yet to be determined.

Those in attendance Wednesday said Marcos was a car detailer and was well liked by the neighbors. The family was described as hard working. Videos posted to Marcos’ instagram account the evening before showed his skills and attention to detail while cleaning the interior of a customer’s vehicle.

Several fundraiser accounts were established to aid the victims for their needs. Those interested in supporting can visit the following links for more information.

Ayuda para la familia de Malena Cabrera

The Garcia Family

Malena Cabrera y Marcos Garcia

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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