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Another Crows Landing Road fire, right across from party store that was badly damaged

Firefighters douse a blaze behind the Family Dollar store on the 1900 block of Crows Landing Road in Modesto on Sunday morning, Oct. 20, 2019.
Firefighters douse a blaze behind the Family Dollar store on the 1900 block of Crows Landing Road in Modesto on Sunday morning, Oct. 20, 2019.

A week after a fire badly damaged a party supply store and its contents, firefighters doused a much smaller fire directly across the street Sunday morning.

Around 8:30 a.m., Modesto and Ceres fire crews responded to a report of a commercial structure fire at the Family Dollar store at 1916 Crows Landing Road.

They found that a bundle of cardboard products behind the store was burning. The fire quickly was extinguished, and firefighters checked inside the building, where they found no damage, according to a Modesto Fire battalion chief’s report.

Two Sheriff’s Department deputies were in the area at the time of the fire and reported seeing no suspicious activity behind the store, said Dustin Bruley, supervisor of the Stanislaus Regional Fire Investigation Unit. “We are actively looking to obtain surveillance video of the scene,” he told The Bee in an email. “We are not ruling out anything at this point.”

Though Family Dollar is right across Crows Landing Road from Atiza Party Supplies, which sustained an estimated $600,000 in damage on Oct. 13, investigators have deemed the fires unrelated, Bruley said.

“Atiza has been determined to be an interior fire, with an undetermined cause at this time,” he said. “The building was secured and alarmed,” and the alarm sounding is what drew Modesto and Ceres crews. The investigation into the fire continues.

Sunday’s fire also came on the heels of a blaze that tore through dozens of vehicles at a wrecking yard on the 500 block of Crows Landing Road in Modesto on Friday night.

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Deke has been an editor and reporter with The Modesto Bee since 1995. He currently does breaking-news, education and human-interest reporting. A Beyer High grad, he studied geology and journalism at UC Davis and CSU Sacramento.
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