Flames damage 4 structures in an arson case

On Sunday, July 5th, 2020, at approximately 5:00 pm, the Turlock Fire Department received a call of a potential structure fire in the 800 block of Emily St. The call was originally dispatched to Battalion 4, Engine 31, Squad 32, and Engine 34. At approximately 5:02 pm, Squad 32 called in to dispatch reporting that they see heavy smoke in the air and to upgrade it to a working structure fire. This added Engine 34, as well as Ceres Battalion 3 and Ceres Engine 15 to the call.

The first unit to arrive on scene was Squad 32, which arrived at approximately 5:04 pm. Upon arrival, they reported to dispatch that a structure was on fire on 5th St, and that it was threatening multiple structures behind it on Emily St. Within a minute, the fire reached 3 more structures. Battalion 4 arrived on scene and assumed command. He also requested a second alarm, which added Ceres Engine 16, Ceres Quint 18 and Modesto Engine 10 to the call. Other units began arriving on scene and setting up on both Emily St and 5th St, and began attacking the fire in the offensive strategy.

At this time, Battalion 4 requested the Turlock Police Department to respond to provide traffic control. Chief 3 also attached himself to the call and responded to the scene at this time. Battalion 4 then called into dispatch reporting that a homeless female in a sports bra and pink sweats had exited one of the structures which was involved in the fire and started running towards F St, and that she could be a possible suspect.

Ceres Engine 15’s firefighter then called a mayday and said that he was down. An ambulance was requested code 3. Luckily, an ambulance was already on scene staging. Medics made their way to the downed firefighter to assist him.

After a short period of time, the fire was knocked down and was under control. The fire had damaged a total of 4 structures, which were luckily all out buildings, and not residential structures. Some of the structures involved in the fire were on county islands, so Turlock Rural Fire Protection District was requested to respond to the scene to take a report. After about an hour of the call originally being dispatched, the fire was out and units began clearing the scene.

A person of interest has been identified for being responsible for the fire. The Turlock Fire Marshal and the Stanislaus Regional FIU are currently investigating this fire as an arson. Anyone with information regarding this fire is encouraged to contact Fire Marshal Mark Gomez at 209-668-5580, or by email at MGomez@turlock.ca.us.

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