Firefighters rescue driver in crash and extinguish house fire in Modesto

05/21/2014 11:17 AM

05/21/2014 8:09 PM

Firefighters rescued an injured driver after a crash into Dry Creek in Modesto late Tuesday and put out a fire in a vacant house in west Modesto on Wednesday morning, fire officials said.

Shortly before 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Modesto Regional Fire Authority responded to a report of a crash near Scenic Drive and Coffee Road in central Modesto.

The vehicle had gone through the intersection and down an embankment before overturning and crashing into Dry Creek, said MRFA Battalion Chief Alan Ernst. The vehicle came to rest on its roof in the creek.

The first firefighters to arrive found the injured driver on the embankment. Ernst said the firefighters had to conduct a rescue because the embankment was steep.

The firefighters set up the necessary equipment and pulled out the driver within 20 minutes. The driver was taken by ambulance to a local hospital. Fire officials did not have information on the driver’s condition Wednesday morning.

Ernst said they searched the vehicle and confirmed that nobody else was inside.

Shortly after 6 a.m. Wednesday, MRFA responded to a report of a house fire in the 1500 block of Pelton Avenue, near Sutter Avenue in west Modesto. Four engines, a truck and a battalion chief arrived and found the home burning.

Ernst said firefighters launched an interior attack on the blaze and contained the fire to one room. Nobody was inside the house, and no injuries were reported.

Investigators had not determined the cause of the fire, which caused an estimated $10,000 in damage. Fire officials reminded residents to be aware of the high risk of fire related to the drought and to safely clear dry vegetation around their homes.

Since May 12, MRFA has responded to more than 657 calls for help, which includes 70 fires. Ernst said several structure and vegetation fires have consumed resources and stretched personnel thin.

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