The Modesto Bee
Jun. 11—Firefighters narrowly escaped a roof collapse as they searched for people inside a burning home in west Modesto this week.
The fire started a duplex in the 700 block of Rachelle Drive, northeast of Maze Boulevard and Emerald Avenue, Wednesday afternoon.
“Initial information received was that this could be an intentionally set fire,” said Dustin Bruley, supervisor of the Stanislaus Regional Fire Investigation Unit.
He said the FIU is working with Modesto Police on the investigation but the origin and cause remain under investigation.
The duplex was fully enfulfed when firefighters from Modesto, Ceres and Stanislaus Consolidated arrived at the home and there were reports that one person was still inside, according to the Modesto Fire Department.
“Crews made an aggressive interior attack which included a primary search,” the department said in a Facebook post. “They encountered fire in the garage, rear bedrooms, throughout the common attic and in parts of the other unit of the duplex.”
While inside, there was a rapid change of fire conditions, forcing crews to retreat.
“Shortly after exiting the duplex a catastrophic roof collapse occurred,” according to the department.
They continued battling the blaze from the exterior and had it under control within about 20 minutes. No one was injured.
Anyone with information about the fire is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 209-521-4636. Tipsters can also submit tips at www.Stancrimetips.org or by using the mobile app “P3” which may result in a cash reward.
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