No injuries. Little property damage. Less than an hour to contain.
Nonetheless, six fires believed to be intentionally set over a 13-hour period since Monday night have kept Modesto firefighters busy.
“I couldn’t characterize why it’s happening,” said Dan Hinshaw, battalion chief for the Modesto Fire Department. “It’s just what’s going on.”
The most recent was reported this morning in the 1500 block of Inyo Avenue in south Modesto.
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Four engines, a truck and Hinshaw tended to the fire reported at about 10 a.m. in the vacant home with no electricity that had previously been damaged by fire, Hinshaw said.
The first two incidents in the series of blazes were grassfires that began Monday night at about 9:30 p.m. near Tuolumne River Regional Park, Hinshaw said.
Both were about a quarter-acre and took about an hour to put out, he said.
At 4:30 this morning, there was a trash fire in the 1500 block of Yosemite Road next to the Salvation Army that burned a donation container.
About three hours later, firefighters tended to two more.
One was a large trash fire against a building on Barozzi Avenue. The other was a structure fire that gutted a room in a vacant house on Teresa Street.
Both were contained in 10 to 15 minutes.
Outside of possibly the two at the park, Hinshaw couldn’t say if any were related like the ones on the southern end of Richland Avenue that have confounded Ceres firefighters.
Still, between the trucks, personnel and following investigations, the fires have taxed his department.
“We were down to a couple of engines because of those two working fires,” he said, referring to the Teresa and Barozzi blazes. “Two engines in a city this size?”
Hinshaw asks that anyone who might have any information on how these fires started to call 572-9590.