Flames gutted four second-floor apartments and displaced at least eight tenants Saturday evening after a two-alarm fire erupted in a large west Modesto apartment complex on Robertson Road.
Three residents were hospitalized for smoke inhalation from the blaze, said Battalion Chief Mark Johansen of the Modesto Regional Fire Authority. Some firefighters suffered from heat exhaustion, but they were not hospitalized. No other injuries were reported.
The fire occurred about 7:45 p.m. in Building 5 of El Casa Verde Apartments at 1513 Robertson Road, just west of Sutter Avenue. Billowing plumes of smoke could seen and smelled from Paradise Road, about a mile north of the apartment complex.
Johansen said all the tenants were out of the burning apartment building when firefighters arrived. He said the fire appeared to have started in one of the second-floor apartments.
The firefighters launched an offensive attack and had the blaze under control in about 20 minutes. They searched twice through the building and found nobody inside.
The burned building sits on the south edge of the complex along Robertson Road.
Several people who live nearby stood outside watching the firefighters putting out the flames. Several residents were examined by medics at the scene as a precaution.
Investigators had not determined the cause of the fire. An estimate on the amount of damage to the apartments was not available.
Johansen said the four second-floor apartments were damaged by flames, while the first-floor apartments sustained water and smoke damage. He said the tenants in the eight damaged apartments would be at least temporarily displaced.
Red Cross officials were called to help the displaced residents find places to stay, clothing or food.
Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2394.