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April 19, 2014

Fire destroys large metal shop building, shed and carport near Keyes

A large metal shop and outbuildings at a farm on Gondring Road east of Keyes caught fire Saturday afternoon and continued to burn into the evening. No injuries were reported.

A large metal shop and outbuildings at a farm on Gondring Road east of Keyes caught fire Saturday afternoon and continued to burn into the evening. No injuries were reported.

Wind and lack of water hampered early efforts to douse the blaze, which started shortly before 3 p.m. in the 2800 block of Gondring Road, said Interim Fire Chief Sean Slamon of the Modesto Regional Fire Authority. The rural address is listed in Ceres.

Firefighters had to stretch hose lines more than 600 feet through an almond orchard to the road to get water to the buildings, Slamon said. “That was an extreme challenge for the first few minutes,” he said. Three water tenders able to draft from canals came to the scene from rural fire districts.

The Ceres Fire Department was the first of at least 10 fire agencies that responded to the blaze. Help arrived from the Keyes, West Stanislaus County, Woodland Avenue, Turlock Rural, Hughson, Burbank-Paradise and Mountain View fire protection districts, as well as the Turlock Fire Department and the Denair Volunteer Fire Department.

A home on the property upwind from the fire was not damaged, but a shed, a carport with vehicles and a barn-like metal shop building were destroyed, Slamon said Saturday evening as the fire continued to burn.

“They’re going to be out there for quite a while,” he said of fire crews. “The shop has collapsed. Firefighters can’t get inside, and there’s a lot of material in there still burning.”

Everyone was out of the buildings when fire crews arrived. No cause had been determined, and no estimate of damage was immediately available.

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