Central Valley

Temporary wall tumbles at Modesto mall

Two people sustained minor injuries when a plywood wall at Vintage Faire mall collapsed Monday afternoon. The collapse happened about 4:50 p.m., authorities said.

The wall collapsed near the Orange Julius store on the mall's lower level, said Modesto fire battalion chief Hugo Patino. The wall was about 30 feet wide by 15 or 20 feet high, batallion chief Sean Slamon said.

Paul Achterberg, manager of the nearby Jaden & Dean Jewelers, said he heard a loud bang, then saw a woman and a toddler sitting on the floor near the collapsed wall.

Achterberg said the plywood wall is in front of an empty retail space where a Foot Locker store is being built.

A pole supporting the wall fell down too, but shoppers and construction workers propped it up until authorities arrived, firefighters said.

Slamon said the two injured shoppers were women. They suffered apparent cuts and bruises, and were taken to Kaiser Modesto Medical Center for evaluation and treatment.

"There were some small children and other people who didn't require medical treatment," Slamon said.

By 6 p.m., firefighters had secured the scene and turned it back over to the mall and its construction firm.

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