A fire that burned through a carport and destroyed two vehicles is being investigated as a possible arson, and used to cover up a stolen vehicle.
The fire was reported just after 3 a.m. Thursday at a four-unit apartment complex in the 1100 block of E. Marshall Street.
The point of origin of the fire was traced back to a vehicle parked underneath the carport. The flames spread to another vehicle parked in the carport and continued burning through an adjacent structure.
The Turlock Fire Department reported that the fire caused major damage to the laundry room, storage closets, and one unoccupied apartment.
Two of the four units were occupied. The residents were able to get out of harm’s way and no damage was reported to their apartments, according to the fire department.
Turlock Police investigators were called to the scene because of the suspicious nature of the blaze and they discovered that one of the vehicles had been reported stolen.
Both vehicles were destroyed in the fire. The total damage came at an estimated cost of $50,000, according to the fire department.
The fire was brought under control in about 40 minutes and 14 fire fighters were at the scene.