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Homes destroyed in separate fires
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Two residential structures sustained significant damage from separate mobile home park fires days apart attended by Ceres Fire Department personnel.

A Friday morning fire resulted in a River Road house being damaged with its occupants displaced.

The second fire - on Monday evening - resulted in a mobile home coach being destroyed in Colony Park Mobilehome Estates, 3939 S. Central Avenue.

Ceres Fire Battalion Chief Bryan Hunt said the 9:30 a.m. Friday fire in a house at a mobile home park at 649 River Road was caused when a suspect tried to destroy evidence as probation agents were executing a search warrant.

"It totally gutted the house," noted Hunt of the fire.

Agents were at the house on a tip from the U.S. Secret Service that a parolee was conducting a counterfeit operation. The mother of the suspect said her son was not home but he was spotted at the same time agents noticed smoke coming from a bedroom window.

The mother was ushered from the house by agents who then swooped in to arrest him. Two computers were also seized for evidence, said Hunt.

The structure was fully engulfed in flames when Ceres firefighters arrived. Modesto City Fire Department assisted in fighting the fire.

The woman was renting the house and is receiving American Red Cross assistance to supply her with emergency lodging, food and clothing.

Colony Park fire

A family cat perished when rear half of a mobile home burned in Monday's 6:36 p.m. fire at space #21 in Colony Park Mobilehome Estates.

Ceres police arrived first and made sure nobody was inside the trailer. Its occupants had left about a half-hour prior.

Fire Captain Randy Wheeler said the rear of the trailer was heavily involved in flames upon arrival. Firefighters launched a quick attack to knock down flames and spare neighboring trailers of damage. The other half of the unit that did not burn sustained heavy smoke and water damage.

The fire may have started in the area around the water heater.

One cat was rescued.

The fire displaced two adults and two teenagers. They refused Red Cross assistance and sought housing with family members.