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Boy in critical condition after mobile home fire

DELHI -- Two firefighters rescued an 11-year-old boy from a burning mobile home early Saturday afternoon. The boy, not identified, was taken to the UC Davis Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition.

Capt. Matt Watson said the 12:56 p.m. fire which destroyed the double-wide mobile home at 16590 Letteau Ave. appears to be electrical in origin, starting in the center of the living room. Engineer James Allen and firefighter Frank Johnson cut through a hole in the bedroom wall to rescue the boy, trapped by flames.

Watson praised the Merced County Board of Supervisors' commitment to provide two firefighters at the Delhi station, saying this allowed the two men first on the scene to perform the rescue. The mobile home, mostly destroyed by the fire, was about 50 percent involved in flames when firefighters arrived.

Allen and Johnson, with protective turnouts and air masks, went in the front door of the mobile home, beating the fire back as they advanced. They could hear an invididual in the bedroom. With flames licking around the bedroom door, the firefighters breached a bedroom wall, removing the boy through a bedroom window.

The boy's mother and a sister were asleep on the couch when they noticed fire and called 911. The boy initially was taken to Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock before he was transferred to UC Davis.

Watson said he was unsure of a dollar loss in the fire. Four engines and 10 firefighters responded to the call. The fire remains under investigation.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger can be reached at 209 385-2485 or dyawger@mercedsun-star.com.

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