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Fire destroys vacant home in Turlock
Fire pic
The Turlock Fire Department battles a blaze in the 100 block of Hedstrom Road that destroyed a vacant home Friday evening. - photo by ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal

A large blaze left a vacant home in the 100 block of Hedstrom Road significantly damaged Friday evening.

At around 8 p.m. the Turlock Fire Department responded to a fire that had consumed a vacant Turlock home known to house squatters, said Turlock Fire Chief Robert Talloni. While the cause of the fire is still under investigation, TFD had been keeping tabs on the empty house.

“It’s a vacant house, and it’s been on our radar for quite some time,” said Talloni. “We’ve tried to board it up in the past.”

It is unknown if any victims were caught in the fire, but preliminary searches performed by firefighters on the scene did not uncover anyone in the home. The home was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived – unusual for a residential blaze, said Talloni.

The fire was able to extend into the home’s backyard and near a residence to the home’s north, but firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading onto other properties. Because of the fire’s large size, responding Turlock Fire Stations brought in mutual aid help from other cities to help cover the town’s emergencies while they battled the blaze.

“The firefighters tried to make an initial entry but there was so much fire that they had to go into defensive mode,” said Talloni. “They kept the fire contained.”