Tuesday afternoon grass fire caused by mowing extends into home

On Tuesday, May 18th, 2021, at approximately 3:00 pm, the Turlock Fire Department received a call of a vegetation fire in the field located at 1309 Fifth St. Engine 33 was dispatched. A short time later, Chief 3 radioed in that a column of smoke was showing in the sky from about a mile away. At that point, all other Turlock Fire units began responding, including Chief 2, Chief 3, Battalion 4, Engine 31, Squad 32, and Engine 34.

The first unit arrived on scene to find a grass fire about 2 acres in size extending into a residence located in the 1200 block of Milhous St. The incident was at that point upgraded to a working structure fire which automatically brought in one battalion chief and one type-one engine from the Ceres Fire Department per a resource sharing agreement. That was not enough, however. Additional Ceres Fire Department units were requested as well as units from the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District, Keyes Fire Protection District, Denair Fire Protection District, Turlock Rural Fire Protection District, and Mountain View Fire Protection District.

Crews began attacking the fire in the offensive strategy and at that point located three dogs inside the residence. They were safely removed and did not sustain any injuries, however, one did bite a firefighter, who was treated on scene by American Medical Response for the dog bite and a first degree thermal burn sustained during initial firefighting efforts. The Turlock Police Department’s Animal Services unit responded and placed the dog on a ten day quarantine at home.

Crews continued to attack the fire and brought it under control about an hour after their arrival time. It was completely put out about 45 minutes after that. Non-fire resources on scene included the Turlock Police Department for traffic and crowd control, the Turlock Police Department’s Animal Services unit for the dog bite, American Medical Response for firefighter and patient care, along with the Turlock Irrigation District and Pacific Gas and Electric to secure utilities. Throughout the incident, multiple different fire departments took care of city coverage.

The cause of the fire was determined to be a mowing operation. The damage caused by the fire consisted of the vegetation where the fire started, the attic and the majority of the effected residence’s interior, and the back fence of the residence to the south of the primary residence. Two residents were displaced but refused assistance from the American Red Cross.

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