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Three fires within an hour
Fires hit store, abandoned house & home
DowntownFireASK 0123a
Manteca’s 100-foot ladder truck and a second engine fight the roof fire in the former Framery frame shop location at 130 West Yosemite Avenue. Firemen said the aerial truck made the effort easier for firefighters to reach the roof sandwiched between two other brick buildings. - photo by GLENN KAHL
Three fires erupting within an hour stretched Manteca’s fire equipment to a breaking point prompting firefighters to look to Lathrop and Ripon departments for mutual aid as they called in off-duty fire fighters and reserve personnel.

The first alarm came in a driving rain at 4:47 p.m.  with a report of smoke coming from the roof of a business front at 130 West Yosemite Avenue – the former location of The Framery frame shop.  As firemen arrived other shop owners and their customers watched from their windows and the sidewalk in front of their stores.

The estimated loss to the building was $50,000 and another $10,000 loss to its contents.

The second fire alarm was posted seven minutes later at 4:54 when neighbors in the 100 block of West Oak Street spotted smoke coming from a foreclosed home that had been torched already once in the past.  The estimated loss to the building was $100,000, according to Interim Manteca Fire Chief Kirk Waters.

Two Manteca detectives driving down Main Street saw the smoke and set up traffic control for the firemen.  Marnix Lub and Danny Erb both pulled their unmarked vehicles into the Main Street entrance of Oak Street preventing motorists from unknowingly getting in the way of the fire trucks.

The third alarm came about an hour and a half later for a chimney fire in the 1100 block of Douglas Fir Drive where family members had settled down for a cozy movie at home.  Manteca Emergency Response Team (CERT) member Tammy Breailey said when she realized there was a problem with her fireplace she ran for her fire extinguisher and called 911.  She said she had checked that the damper was open and inspected the chimney with a flash light before starting the fire.

In the downtown, fire crews arrived to find smoke and fire coming from the roof and attic areas of the structure.  They first used conventional ladders to get to the roof checking it for being structurally sound and venting the attic.   The 100-foot aerial ladder truck crew was then deployed to provide vertical ventilation as well as making a significant overhaul of the roof and upper walls of the building.

Firemen aggressively extinguished the roof and attic fires while preventing fire from damaging the adjacent buildings.  Fire crews remained on the scene for some three hours performing salvage, overhaul and fire investigation.

Four engines were on both sides of the downtown building along with the rescue squad and one ambulance until the second fire call came in and engines had to be pulled away from the downtown incident.  No firefighters or members of the public were injured in the fires.

The second fire to the single story structure on Oak Street was sending out heavy smoke when firemen arrived on the scene.  The original fire crew at the scene with one engine attacked the fire from the exterior of the former family home while waiting for additional resources to arrive on the rain soaked street.

Once the fire was knocked down from the outside and back up firemen arrived they were able to make entry into the structure and completely extinguish the fire.

Firefighters remained at that location for about two and a half hours performing overhaul and fire investigation.  No injuries were reported in the second fire as well.  The Ripon department was never called in but their need had been considered.

A total of 36 career and reserve firefighters were called out to the three fires.