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Apartment fire causes $483,000 in damages
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Manteca Police officer Stephen Dowswell on routine patrol Wednesday afternoon spotted heavy smoke coming from an apartment complex in the 400 block of Acacia Avenue – made a radio call for fire department response —and rousted its residents.

The officer cut his arm attempting to gain access to one apartment where no one responded to his pounding on the door.

Three adults were accounted for and no injuries were reported from the smoke or the fire.  A neighbor used a garden hose to wet down the street side of the roof before firemen arrived on the scene.  

Two fire crews responded to the 4 p.m. fire as heavy smoke and fire continued to emit from an upstairs apartment.  Interim Fire Chief Kirk Waters estimated the loss to the building at $375,000 and another $8,000 in loss to its contents.

Firefighters aggressively extinguished the apartment fires while the crew from the aerial ladder truck cut a hole in the roof to stop the attic fire.  Smoke continued to pour out the front of the upstairs apartments as well as out the front and the south side of the building.  Flames were visible at the roof level coming out from under the eaves.

Other crews simultaneously provided a salvage operation to protect the contents of the immediate and adjacent residences, Chief Waters said.

The firefighters remained on the scene for some five hours performing salvage, overhaul and fire investigation.  The Lathrop-Manteca Fire Department also responded to the fire with one engine.