An estimated 30 persons were homeless Tuesday evening after eight apartment units housed in two separate apartment complexes in the 3000 block of Tenth Street were damaged by a large fire, smoke or water damage from swift fire suppression efforts.
Ceres Fire Department Battalion Chief John Gomes said the raging fire affected residential units at 3037 Tenth Street and 3013 Tenth Street. The units are west of Tenth Street south of Lawrence Street.
A total of five units are at 3037 Tenth Street and 12 units in two buildings at 3013 Tenth Street.
Everybody made it safely outside when the fire was first noted and reported at 7:15 p.m. Local Red Cross officials assisted in placing residents whose home was damaged in temporary housing.
The fire was reported as a tree fire and a structure fire although investigators have not said which caught fire first.
By the time the first firefighters arrived units from two apartment buildings were showing flames shooting out the roof through the attic. A second alarm was sounded. Ceres Fire Department sought the assistance of Modesto, Turlock City and Stanislaus Consolidated fire agencies as a third and fourth alarm was sounded.
An hour later the fire was brought under control but firefighters were on scene until 11:30 p.m. The suppression effort required the use of 14 pieces of firefighting apparatus and approximately 46 firefighters.
Some units were saved from burning but sustained smoke and water damage. Gomes said that firefighters went into one unit and rescued reptile pets.
Gomes said the fire's cause is still under investigation. No monetary damage had been estimated.