Four people, one dog, and two birds escaped serious injury Saturday night when flames spread from their attached garage to their home.
The home’s occupants and the dog had gotten out of the house prior to the arrival of the Turlock Fire Department, but the two birds were rescued from the encroaching flames by the firefighters as they searched through the home looking for other individuals.
One occupant was taken to a local hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation and has since been released, said Turlock Fire Capt. Kevin Tidwell.
The fire happened around 9 p.m. Saturday at a home in the 1900 block of Geer Road.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but the fire department does know it originated in an attached garage.
The first firefighters to arrive at the scene found the garage fully engulfed in flames, with the fire quickly spreading to the residence.
The fire crews started a multi-pronged attack on the fire but were forced to find another alternative when the flames crept up a power pole and ignited an electrical line connected to the house.
“During the firefighting operation, the main electrical line to the residence burned through and fell onto several hose lines and the roadway,” Tidwell said. “These arcing power lines not only forced crews off of the interior hose line for safety concerns, but also ignited a tree next to an outbuilding. Firefighters quickly deployed another hose line from another fire engine and re-engaged in the fire attack from the rear of the structure where down power lines were not a concern.”
Crews from the Turlock Irrigation District came to the scene and “mitigated the electrical hazard, which allowed firefighters to resume use of all hose lines and apparatus,” Tidwell said.
The fire was brought under control approximately 30 minutes after firefighters were dispatched.
“City firefighters braved multiple fires and hazardous conditions searching for occupants and achieving total fire extinguishment,” said Turlock Fire Chief Robert Talloni.
Four occupants have been displaced due to the fire damage and are being assisted by the Red Cross.
The Turlock Fire Department responded with three Engines, Squad 32, one Battalion Chief, the Acting Fire Chief, the Fire Marshal and the Chief of Department. Ceres Fire Department also responded with one Engine and a Battalion Chief as part of the Resource Sharing Agreement for a total of 20 personnel. Turlock Rural Fire provided city coverage and responded to a medical emergency call while all Turlock City resources were committed on the Geer Road incident.