Abandoned house known to be occupied by transients catches fire Tuesday morning

On Tuesday, May 16th, 2023, at 7:25 am, the Turlock Fire Department, Modesto Fire Department, Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District, Turlock Police Department, Stanislaus Regional Fire Investigations Unit, and American Medical Response were dispatched to a reported structure fire at an abandoned residence in the 1600 block of Geer Rd, Turlock.

When crews arrived on scene, they found a two-story single-family dwelling with a fire that had started on the first floor and extended to the second floor. They also found a downed power pole.

Firefighters immediately began offensively attacking the fire and were able to bring it under control within about 30 minutes, extinguishing it shortly thereafter.

Firefighters remained on scene for an extended period of time after the fire was extinguished conducting overhaul and other post-fire activities.

The Turlock Irrigation District and Pacific Gas and Electric Company responded to secure utilities, while the Modesto Fire Department and Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District provided city coverage for the duration of the incident.

No injuries were reported.

The cause and origin of the fire remain unknown, however, transients have been known to stay in the residence since its last tenants moved out. The Turlock Police Department has had to respond to the residence several times within the past few months to arrest transients that have been trespassing in it. At one point a makeshift tent city had been set up in the detached garage.

The investigation remains ongoing. Anyone with information that could assist in it is encouraged to call the Stanislaus Regional Fire Investigations Unit at 209-525-5537.

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