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Police, firefighters kept busy over holiday
illegal fireworks bust
Turlock Police officers found 400 pounds of illegal fireworks at the W. Olive Avenue home of David Gallo, Jr. (Photo courtesy of TPD).

Police and firefighters responded to a series of fires and calls of illegal fireworks over the July 4th holiday.

The Turlock Fire Department responded to a total of 34 incidents on July 4 and into July 5. There were 13 fires which included eight grass fires, three trash fires, one vehicle fire, and one structure fire.

The largest fire came in at approximately 1:15 a.m. July 5, when all Turlock Fire units responded to the report of a house on fire in the 800 block of N. Berkeley Avenue.

The first firefighters to arrive at the found a large amount of smoke and fire coming from a house that was vacant and under construction. Crews brought the fire under control within 30 minutes, said Turlock Fire spokesman Capt. Jason Bernard.

The blaze necessitated the department’s resource sharing partners to send two additional engines, one quint, and one additional battalion chief. Crews worked for an extended period of time conducting overhaul of the fire building. There were no injuries reported.

4th of July house fire
All Turlock Fire units responded to a house on fire in the early hours of July 5 in the 800 block of N. Berkeley Avenue (Photo courtesy of TFD).

There were no early indications that the fire was started by fireworks, though it is currently under investigation by the Stanislaus County Fire Investigation Unit.

Those with any information regarding the fire are asked to contact the Stanislaus County Fire Investigation Unit at 209-525-5537.

The Turlock Police Department’s effort to catch those detonating illegal fireworks got off to a bang when they caught a Turlock man with more than 400 pounds of illegal fireworks.

The discovery of the contraband pyrotechnics came about through a traffic stop on July 3 of David Gallo Jr., 21, according to the police department.

A search warrant was served at Gallo’s home in the 300 block of W. Olive Avenue and investigators found boxes and boxes of illegal fireworks. Several pounds of narcotics for sale were also located in the residence.

Gallo Jr. faces felony charges for possession of illegal fireworks, possession of narcotics for sales, and committing a felony while out on bail.

Over the course of a couple of days the police and fire departments issued 28 citations for illegal fireworks.

In 2022, the Turlock City Council adopted new illegal fireworks ordinances that included new penalties of $1,000, $1,500 and $2,000 for the use, display or sale of illegal fireworks for the first, second, third and subsequent offenses, respectively.