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Electrical fire damages five motel units
Pacific-MotelASK 0770a
Firefighters conduct a follow-up inspection Tuesday afternoon of the damage caused by a Sunday morning fire at the Pacific Motel on Moffat Boulevard. Five units were evacuated and damage estimates exceeded $100,000. - photo by GLENN KAHL
Manteca firefighters conducted a follow-up inspection of the roof area of the Pacific Motel in the 400 block of Moffat Boulevard Tuesday afternoon after fire ravaged the attic and several units on the east side of the business in the predawn hours Sunday morning.

The loss to the motel was estimated $100,000 to the building and $3,000 to contents by fire investigators.

Manteca Fire Chief Kirk Waters said that an occupant in room 104 said he had just placed something in the microwave when he heard a pop and looked up to the corner of the ceiling and saw a glow – quickly getting out of the apartment as the power went out.

He was quoted as saying he saw flames coming from the roof area next to the garage that had a common wall with his apartment.  Engines were dispatched at 5:43 a.m. and arrived on the scene within four minutes with firemen finding  heavy smoke coming from above apartments 103, 104 and 105.

Battalion Chief Kyle Shipherd said his firemen had the blaze under control in about 20 minutes; however, they were on the scene for some three hours.   He added that they had salvaged quite a bit of furniture and bedding in the motel units.  

Firefighters from Engine 241 and Truck 24 removed the ceiling and roof above units and located the fire in the attic above room 104.  A hose line was advanced to the roof and attic area and the fire was contained before it was able to spread to the adjacent units, firefighters reported.

A major concern with the attic fire was the potential it had to spread to other units since the attic did not have fire breaks in its two-foot-high space.  The building was reportedly built in the 1930s and had been the scene of another electrical fire six to seven years ago.

The motel manager said the occupants had found living quarters elsewhere after they were evacuated from their units.  He wasn’t aware whether the owner planned to rebuild that section of the motel property.

A total of 22 firemen responded to the motel fire that included a turnout from the Lathrop-Manteca Fire Department.

Extensive damage was reported to room 104 and moderate damage to rooms 103 and 105.  All five rooms in the area of the blaze were still posted as being uninhabitable Tuesday.