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Garage, bungalows burn in 2 Modesto fires

Modesto Fire Department firefighters spray down and examine a detached garage that caught fire Sunday. The fire burned from one backyard and spread to the neighboring yard on the 100 block of Madera Avenue. No injuries were reported.
Modesto Fire Department firefighters spray down and examine a detached garage that caught fire Sunday. The fire burned from one backyard and spread to the neighboring yard on the 100 block of Madera Avenue. No injuries were reported. The Modesto Bee

Modesto firefighters fought building fires on opposite ends of town over the weekend.

On Sunday just before noon, engines responded to a call of a tree on fire in the 100 block of Madera Avenue and a structure fire in the adjacent 100 block of Center Street in south Modesto.

Modesto Fire Department Battalion Chief Hugo Patino said that when firefighters arrived, they found a detached garage ablaze behind a home on Madera, which spread to the neighboring yard. A camper, fence and tree in that backyard were also on fire.

Patino said the homes were checked and nobody was inside or injured. Engines from Modesto, Ceres and the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District responded to the call, as initial reports were that the fire had jumped the alley to a home on Center Street. But no neighboring homes were damaged by the blaze. Four Modesto engines helped knock down the flames.

Patino said it appears the fire started in or just outside of the detached garage. Damages are estimated around $25,000. The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Around 10 p.m. Saturday, the Fire Deparment got a call of a structure fire on the 4700 block of McHenry Avenue in north Modesto near the Valley Lexus dealership. Firefighters arrived to find adjoining bungalows on fire. The row of homes had been vacant and boarded up for “quite some time,” Patino said.

Firefighters found a woman outside who had been squatting in one of the bungalows. She was not injured and no other people were found in the structures. The woman, who was in her 20s or 30s, was being interviewed by fire and Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department investigators.

Three engines responded to the blaze, which caved in the roof of one of the bungalows. The cause of the fire is unclear, Patino said.

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