Shiva’s Motel caught fire for the second time in a week, leaving just one habitable unit in the back of the South Ninth Street business.
The most recent fire started Thursday afternoon in one of about a dozen units that were being remodeled after a January 2013 fire destroyed them, Ceres Fire Deputy Chief Bryan Nicholes said. The blaze impacted six units.
The units were boarded up but the plywood had been removed from several of them and transients had been staying there, Nicholes said. The cause of the fire is under investigation; there was no power to any of the units.
The fire last year started when a woman knocked over a candle that she was using to stay warm.
A fire last week destroyed five units on the north side of the motel, leaving a single unit in the back of the motel where a man Thursday said he lived with about four other people.
Nicholes said he will recommend to the Stanislaus County building department that the motel be condemned, given the number of fires and damage done to the structure. If the county agrees and deems the motel unsafe to occupy, what remains of it will be torn down.
The estimated cost of the damage from last year’s fire was about $150,000, but Nicholes said Thursday that the damage done to what remains of the structure amounts to $1,000.