Arsonist sets cardboard bales and pallets on fire behind Geer Road Walmart

On Friday, October 9th, 2020, at approximately 10:55 pm, the Turlock Fire Department received multiple calls reporting cardboard bales, pallets, and other miscellaneous items on fire behind the Walmart Neighborhood Market at 2480 Geer Rd. Due to its size and proximity to the building, it was entered as a potential structure fire which prompted a response from Battalion 4, Engine 31, Engine 33, and Engine 34.

Engine 33 arrived on scene at approximately 11:00 pm. Captain 33 reported multiple cardboard bales and pallets on fire. Captain 33 assumed Geer command and put Engine 33 in the offensive strategy. Other units began arriving on scene and assisting with fire attack. Additionally, Engine 33’s deck gun was put into use. Captain 33 then requested that city crews respond with a tractor to help separate the bales.

Crews continued to work on fire attack and had it under control in about 15 minutes. Once city crews arrived on scene they began moving the items with their tractor. This took a little over an hour. Once it was all moved, it was sprayed once more with water and class A foam to ensure it does not ignite again.

The Turlock Police Department was also requested to respond to conduct an arson investigation. Officers responded and got some information from the business. They also took photos of the remains of what was burned. Command was terminated shortly before 1:30 am and all units went clear and available.

The investigation is still ongoing. Anyone with information regarding this fire is encouraged to contact Fire Marshal Mark Gomez at 209-669-2119 or by email at MGomez@turlock.ca.us.

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