A Wednesday night fire at a mobile home park near downtown Modesto damaged or destroyed five homes and displaced 17 people, fire officials said.
Modesto and Stanislaus Consolidated fire crews were dispatched around 7:25 p.m. to the 600 block of South Seventh Street for a residential fire call, MFD said. Multiple mobile homes were on fire, and power lines had fallen.
Dispatch reported people still were inside some of the homes, according to a Modesto Fire Department battalion chief’s incident summary, but crews found all residents had gotten out.
The call grew to three alarms, but the fire was mostly out by 8 p.m. Residents looked over the damage from a distance, clutching the dogs, cats and even rabbits they were able to escape with.
Fire, EMS and law enforcement vehicles surrounded the scene, and firefighters passed onlookers as they finished putting out some remaining burning areas.
A 17-year-old Ceres resident watching as smoke curled around the remnants of the mobile homes said his aunt and uncle’s home burned down in the blaze.
The teen had stopped by to drop something off to his aunt and was in and out of the area about 30 minutes before the fire broke out. He said there was no sign of fire at the time, but just minutes later he had to turn around to head back to help his aunt and uncle after the flames erupted.
His family members escaped unharmed and were able to save their cars, but as of Wednesday night it seemed all their personal items and important documents were lost in the fire.
“Luckily, they got everyone out,” the teen said.
Pacific Gas & Electric, the Modesto Irrigation District and law enforcement all responded. Roads were temporarily closed in the area.
The battalion chief’s summary said the fire was fully contained in about two hours and the Stanislaus Regional Fire Investigation Unit is working to determine origin and cause.
The American Red Cross is assisting the 12 adults and five children displaced, the Fire Department said.