A man was injured and a dog perished in two of three separate blazes that kept firefighters hopping during a 12-hour period over the weekend in Salida and Modesto.
The unidentified, middle-aged man was flown by helicopter to a hospital after an explosion involving aerosol cans and candles at 1:54 a.m. Sunday in a bedroom at 5036 Kiernan Ave., west of Highway 99.
The explosion shattered a window, and the man's head and arms were singed, according to the Modesto Regional Fire Authority.
"What he was doing in there, we are not sure," Battalion Chief Cecil Ridge said.
Never miss a local story.
A property owner said the man and another man and woman who escaped were not squatters but had no electricity, Ridge said. The fire caused about $80,000 in damage, he said.
Firefighters leaving about 4:20 a.m. were directed to another blaze at 1629 Imperial Ave. in south Modesto. That home didn't have power either; occupants ran an extension cord next door and one who wasn't home apparently had used candles, Ridge said.
The man's pit bull dog nipped at a firefighter's gloved hand, retreated inside and was killed in the fire, which melted a sliding glass door and caused about $65,000 in damage.
One occupant, fearful of the heat, had escaped through a window and another fled through the front door, Ridge said.
Firefighters also extinguished a second-story kitchen blaze at 4:22 p.m. Saturday at an apartment complex on Kiernan Avenue at McHenry Avenue, causing about $40,000 in damage. No one was injured.
Bee staff writer Garth Stapley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2390.