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Modesto grass fire damages nine townhouses
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MODESTO  (AP) — Fire authorities in Modesto say they believe a fast-moving grass fire that damaged or destroyed nine town houses was caused by people.

Modesto Regional Fire Authority Battalion Chief Hugo Patino said Saturday that Friday’s blaze started on the grassy berm of a freeway project frequented by homeless people.

Strong winds and hot weather fueled the fire, which quickly spread to a row of single-story town houses west of Highway 99.

Patino said three of the structures were destroyed, two were badly damaged and four had minor damages. Three vehicles were also damaged.

The American Red Cross was helping the displaced residents.