Fire breaks out in warehouse Saturday night, suspect arrested

On Saturday, April 10th, 2021, at approximately 8:50 pm, the Turlock Fire Department received a call of a working structure fire at an old warehouse located at 300 B St. The Turlock Fire Department’s Battalion 4, Engine 31, Squad 32, Engine 33, and Engine 34 responded along with the Ceres Fire Department’s Battalion 3 and Engine 15.

While responding, Battalion 4 saw a large column in the sky and upgraded the call to a working commercial structure fire which added Ceres Engine 18 and Modesto Truck 1. Battalion 4 arrived on scene about a minute later to find a fully involved warehouse. He assumed command and had crews begin fire attack in the defensive strategy.

The fire was brought under control after about thirty minutes and extinguished about an hour after that. Crews remained on scene for an extended period of time conducting overhaul and investigation. The Turlock Rural Fire Protection District provided city coverage while this incident was ongoing. American Medical Response responded to the scene to provide firefighter care while the Turlock Irrigation District responded along with pacific Gas and Electric to secure utilities.

When crews were wrapping up, they noticed a subject just south of their location who had possibly started the fire. The Turlock Police Department was requested to respond and upon contacting him, he admitted to starting the fire. He was identified as Richard Ray, 42, of Turlock. Ray was arrested and booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on one count of arson. The damage was estimated at approximately $250,000.

Richard Ray

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