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Third fire at empty residence
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A view from the rear of a single family structure in the 200 block of El Capitan shows the collapsed room and the burned out kitchen and family room. - photo by GLENN KAHL

A fire described as suspicious caused $150,000 in damages to a Manteca home at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night in the 200 block of El Capitan Avenue.

The location of the fire was at the corner of Virginia Street just east of the Hafer’s Home Furnishings shopping center that faces onto Yosemite Avenue.

Manteca Fire Battalion Chief Kyle Shipherd said the home has been unoccupied for several months. He noted a transient was seen by a witness leaving the home shortly before flames were seen leaping some 30 feet into the air.

Shipherd said the blaze quickly spread through the entire attic through holes in the ceiling caused by two previous fires. Firefighters pulled multiple attack hose lines to the front, sides and rear of the structure but they were unable to advance into structure due to severe heat and collapse of the roof. The fire was knocked down and brought under control in about 40 minutes. 

One fire unit remained on the scene throughout the night to watch for any hidden fire reigniting within the structure. There were 23 firefighters and six units including the Lathrop Manteca Fire District that responded.