The quick action of firefighters Friday night in knocking down a massive fire in a series of outbuildings with flames reaching more than 25 feet in the air prevented an adjacent home from being torched.
Teams from all three Manteca fire stations responded to the blaze at 139 North Sherman Ave. at 9 p.m. along with one engine from Lathrop-Manteca. Firemen said they could see the flames from as far away as the Union Road and Yosemite Avenue intersection more than a mile away.
A full call-back of off duty and reserve firefighters was initiated with 11 city personnel and two from Lathrop working the scene. The off-duty regular firemen staffed the empty three stations ready to answer other calls coming into the department.
The first engine on the scene was unit 242 with the rescue squad pulling up closely behind it on Center Street across from the court house. There were a total of seven hose lines that were laid from two engines in a full-scale attack on the blaze to knock the flames down in some 10 minutes. Captain David Marques and firefighter Tony Taberna were second to arrive on the scene leaving their rescue unit to man hoses from the engine ahead of them.
“It was pretty toasty in there,” Taberna said minutes after shutting down his hose line.
Captain David Breitenbucher said there were a series of wooden storage out buildings in the area that caught fire. Someone had reportedly been living in one of the structures but had moved out recently. Investigators learned there was no electricity in any of the buildings that were involved in the fire and they weren’t able to immediately determine the cause of what was described as an inferno.