Modesto family displaced after Christmas tree catches fire on New Year’s Day

Bee Staff ReportsJanuary 2, 2014 

Ricky Javier Madrigal

Some of the damage can be seen to the house on Seasons Way that was accidentally set on fire when a Christmas tree fell over against a lit fireplace Wednesday.

MODESTO REGIONAL FIRE AUTHORITY

A Modesto family of six was displaced New Year’s Day when their Christmas tree fell against a lit fireplace.

Modesto Regional Fire Authority responded to the home on Seasons Way, northwest of Orangeburg Avenue and Carver Road, just before 10 p.m., Battalion Chief Hugo Patino said in a news release.

Early reports indicated that someone might have been in the burning home, but firefighters learned that everyone had evacuated by the time they arrived.

One of the residents broke a window at the home and used a garden hose to extinguish much of the fire, Patino said.

Firefighters checked whether the fire had reached the attic, extinguished the rest of the hot spots and set up an exhaust fan to clear the smoke.

The living room and kitchen were damaged by the fire, heat and smoke; the rest of the home had smoke damage.

Patino said the fire started when the family’s Christmas tree fell against the lit fireplace. It caused an estimated $50,000 in damage to the structure and $10,000 to its contents.

The Red Cross responded to provide disaster assistance to the six occupants of the home.

Twenty-one firefighters responded to the incident.

The Modesto Regional Fire Authority would like to remind everyone of how dry Christmas trees can get, and to dispose of them properly.

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