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Fire races through Turlock condos
A fire likely started by faulty Christmas light wiring burned through four condos Wednesday morning. There were no injuries. - photo by Photo courtesy of Dan Mills

A fire possibly ignited by faulty Christmas light wiring burned through four Turlock condominiums Wednesday morning, leaving several residents displaced.

There were no injuries reported from the fire.

The fire was first reported about 9 a.m. Wednesday at 2905 Niagra St.

Turlock resident Dan Mills was on his way to work when he noticed a thick plume of smoke coming from the complex.

“I turned into the driveway and could see four units engulfed in flames,” Mills said.

Mills was joined by a volunteer firefighter from Gordo, Ala. and the pair successfully alerted all the residents in the area to the fire and got them from their homes safely.

When units from the Turlock Fire Department arrived at the scene 20 foot flames were shooting out from three large roofline windows of one of the rear units.

Firefighters had the blaze under control in about 10 minutes of their arrival, but it took another hour to ensure that it was completely extinguished.

The four condos all sustained various levels of damage from the flames, smoke and water. All four units were deemed uninhabitable and the Red Cross was called in to offer assistance to the residents. The estimated dollar loss for all four units was placed at $120,000, according to the fire department.

Fire investigators suspect the fire started in a unit where Christmas wiring was too concentrated around lightweight combustibles. The smoke detectors in the units were not working and the fire department said it was a good reminder to replace batteries and make sure the detectors are functioning.

In addition to the Turlock Fire Department, support was provided by the Ceres and Keyes fire departments, along with local law enforcement. The Turlock Rural Fire Department provided city coverage.

When decorating for the holidays it’s important to check lighting for any faulty wiring and keep Christmas trees well-watered, said fire officials.