Fire displaces residents of seven apartments at Ceres complex

jfarrow@modbee.comMay 27, 2014 

— Residents of seven apartments were displaced Tuesday night when fire broke out in a first-floor unit of the Pine Ridge Apartments at 1301 Richland Ave. One resident was treated at the scene for a minor burn, but all others escaped safely, said Ceres Fire Department Battalion Chief Randy Wheeler, who was the incident commander.

The fire was reported about 8:45 p.m. and quickly spread to the apartment above it. Both sustained heavy damage; after 10 p.m., firefighters still were dousing hot spots and clearing out burned furnishings through windows.

In addition to the two units that had fire and water damage, and another with smoke damage, residents of four other apartments in the building were displaced because of electrical concerns, Wheeler said.

Wednesday, the city building inspector said electricity and natural gas could be turned on again in the four nondamaged apartments, Wheeler said, and those residents were expected to return to their homes later in the day.

The families living in the apartments with fire, water and smoke damage were relocated to other apartments in the complex, Wheeler said.

The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental, he said. It did an estimated $20,000 in structural damage and $10,000 in personal property damage.

Four Ceres engines responded to the fire, as did one Modesto Regional Fire Authority engine, a Modesto battalion chief and a Modesto investigator, Wheeler said. The Keyes Fire Department assisted Ceres with station coverage, he said.

Also on the scene were Ceres police and Turlock Irrigation District and Pacific Gas & Electric workers.

Bee City Editor Deke Farrow can be reached at or (209) 578-2327.

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