A fire that started in the garage of a Central Manteca home Wednesday night quickly spread out of control before ultimately rendering most of the home uninhabitable.
Manteca Fire Department crews responded just after 8 p.m. Wednesday to a report of a structure fire in the 600 block of Alameda Street near the Manteca Boys and Girls Club. Upon arrival, firefighters encountered flames shooting 30-feet into the night sky.
Those that lived in the home smelled the smoke and made it into the front yard before emergency crews arrived.
According to Manteca Fire Department Battalion Chief Kyle Shipherd, the fire used the attic to eventually spread into the house and impose even more damage into the garage area where it started.
The fire had burned out a large portion of the eastern garage wall – the section that forms a corner between the front of the house and the garage door that access the living space inside – and exposed portions of the roof that periodically flamed up after the initial blaze had been extinguished could be seen from the street.
“The cause of the fire is still being investigated – we know where it started but not what yet, and there was a lot in the garage that we had to take out,” Shipherd said. “We believe that the fire went into the attic and on into the house and caused significant damage. We’ll have a dollar estimate after we investigate further.”
An engine from Lathrop-Manteca Fire District responded for mutual aid, and emergency callbacks to Manteca Reserve Firefighters were also sent out. Because of the length of the process, off-duty fire personnel were called in to man stations and handle routine calls.
Seeing a house engulfed in flames was something that Lyndsey Crommley said she never expected when she took her dog for a walk Wednesday evening. She was one of the more than 100 people that packed in around the fire engines for a closer look at the work being done by local emergency crews.
“I smelled smoke but I didn’t think it was something like this,” she said. “It’s crazy. I heard somebody say that everybody got out so that’s good. It’s just unfortunate that those people lost so much.
“I saw the flames and thought that the house was going to burn to the ground. The firefighters did a great job.”