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Had house fire started 2 hours later it could have been tragedy
Smoke billows from the roof of a home in the 700 block of Robert Avenue Wednesday night in Ripon. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

A Ripon family was able to safely flee a fire that broke out in their home Wednesday night.

The fire in the 700 block of Robert Avenue detected at about 10 p.m. could have been catastrophic had it broken out two hours later when the entire family consisting of parents and four children would have been sound asleep.  The four children had already gone to bed and the parents were about to retire

The father said their first alert to the fire was the television going off and the lights flickering.  He added that there was fire in the attic but he had no way of knowing that at the time when he found flames in the laundry room.

He said he used a bucket he found nearby to douse the flames as best he could to try and prevent it from spreading to the entire one side of the home. before firefighters arrived

The children were carried out of the home and placed in an SUV in the driveway that couldn’t be moved because its keys were in the house. When firefighters from the Ripon Consolidated Fire Department arrived, the flames were shooting out of the attic vents.

A full call-back of Ripon firefighters was initiated and mutual aid was requested from Manteca, Lathrop Manteca and Salida. As Ripon engines were arriving, there were two medical calls coming in from Bethany Home with no one left to respond.  Mutual-aid was called because the Ripon department was short-handed and needed manpower.  Manteca’s truck 24 made it to the Ripon fire in less than 10 minutes with little freeway traffic.   Salida Fire Department was later asked to cover Ripon and respond to their calls as well as their own.  A Manteca District Ambulance unit was later dispatched to Ripon Station Two and be ready to respond to both Ripon and Escalon due to the shortage of manpower and equipment.  There was little response in Ripon to the full call-back.

Manteca Battalion Chief Dave Marques had not been dispatched to Ripon but said when said he heard the need for manpower and had a request from Ripon Battalion Chief Marty Corneilson he was on his way. 

The Red Cross was alerted to the family’s needs and that usually prompts a stay in a local motel.


To contact Glenn Kahl, email