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Fires damage two Turlock homes
turlock fire truck
The Turlock City Council approved seeking a fire services contract proposal from Modesto Fire (Journal file photo).

Over the course of two days the Turlock Fire Department was called out twice to battle two house fires, both of which left the residences damaged and in one case uninhabitable for the time.

No injuries were reported from either fire. The cause of both remains under investigation.

The first fire was at a home in the 800 block of W. Main Street and was reported around 10 p.m. Wednesday.

The first Turlock Fire crews to arrive found heavy smoke streaming from the two-story home. The smoke was so thick it was impinging on the traffic traveling on Main Street, said Turlock Fire spokesman Capt. Kevin Tidwell.

The firefighters quickly went about searching for any residents that might still be in the home and attacking the growing flames.

The fire was spreading rapidly in the basement and crews made their way to the rear of the property to get a clear line of attack. Other firefighters started battling the flames that had extended into the first and second floor.

There was major fire damage, completely demolishing the basement, as well as additional damage to the first and second floors of the residence. Firefighters were able to prevent the blaze from causing further damage to the outside of the structure.
“The residence was balloon frame constructed; no fire stops in the walls,” said Turlock Fire Chief Robert Talloni. “The fire was mainly contained to the basement with little extension to the attic. Turlock City Firefighters did an outstanding job locating the fire and extinguishing it.”

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined. The Turlock Police Department, which responded to the call for assistance, did say on their web activity log that evidence was collected at the scene, though it was not specified as to what was the evidence.

Turlock City Fire responded to the incident with four engines, Squad 32, a battalion chief, Chief 2, the Fire Marshal and the Chief of the Department. Ceres Fire Department also responded with a battalion chief and an engine company.

The second fire happened around 5:30 a.m. Friday in the 90 block of Starr Avenue.

This fire appears to have originated in a bush next to the home and continued to the structure.

One occupant was inside the home as the flames spread but was able to get out safely.

The firefighters made a rapid attack on the growing blaze, which kept the flames from piercing the inside of the home. The damage was kept to the exterior of the home.

“A possible tragedy was averted by the quick and decisive actions of our firefighters, noting the time of the morning and the occupant still being inside of the home,” Talloni said.

Turlock City Fire Department responded with three engines, Squad 32, one battalion chief, and the Chief of the Department. Additional assistance was provided by AMR, TID and PG&E while Turlock Rural Fire provided coverage within the City of Turlock throughout the incident.

Anyone with information regarding these incidents should be directed to Fire Marshal Mark Gomez at 209 669-2119 or mgomez@turlock.ca.us.