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House burning threat ties up police, fire crews
TOP photo fire threat1
A lone Manteca Police officer trains his weapon on a house in the 1400 block of Blush Street shortly after 4 p.m. Monday in the northeastern section of the city. Other officers were posted with their automatic weapons at the ready down the block. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Five Manteca Police officers and two Manteca Fire engine companies positioned themselves around a home in the 1400 block of Blush Street  in Northeast Manteca Monday afternoon after a dispatcher received a 911 call reporting a family member’s threat to burn down his single-story home.

Police officers initially believed they could be facing a standoff when the man, believed to be in his late 30s, refused to come out of the residence.  One officer took a position in front of the house behind two patrol cars keeping his sidearm trained on the door and front windows.

Officers had information that the man had several long guns as well as hand guns in his possession inside the residence.  The fire trucks were moved back from the intersection early on because it was felt they were in the line of possible gunfire.  Residents were asked to stay inside their homes.

At one point the first responders said they smelled wood burning, but it could not be confirmed since they could not make entry into the structure.  There was no other person in the home, they reported.

Two other patrolmen took up positions with automatic weapons focusing their attention on the front of the home.  Two fire department companies staged their fire trucks at the end of the block where they prevented traffic from driving into the neighborhood.

Some neighbors seemed to be unconcerned about the seriousness of the police and fire activity.  One man across the street from the police action took his water hose and washed his pickup truck at the curb, while another went out in his front yard and practiced golf swings with a driver despite the police presence with guns drawn.

With the majority of Manteca’s police officers and seven firemen on the street tied up for over an hour with the threat, a man who claimed to be the suspect’s brother arrived and talked to officers along with a female family member.  The family had decided that the police and the fire personnel should leave the scene just over an hour from the original 911 call as no actual crime had taken place and no fire was evident.