Three people were displaced Saturday afternoon when a fire tore through a single-story apartment in Modesto's airport neighborhood. No injuries were reported.
The fire occurred about 3:20 p.m. in the 700 block of Benson Avenue, between Larkin and Monterey avenues. The fire's cause and origin had not been determined, but it appeared to have started outside the home, said Modesto Fire Battalion Chief Mark Johansen.
Thick columns of smoke could be seen from Yosemite Boulevard. The occupants were outside when firefighters arrived. The flames burned a gas meter, rupturing a gas line, Johansen said. The leaking gas and items burning inside a nearby shed created intense flames. Firefighters had the blaze under control in about five minutes, Johansen said. The flames gutted the apartment and caused about $30,000 in damage.
Red Cross officials helped the residents find a place to stay.