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Fire Rips Through Modesto Group Home, Displacing 9

MODESTO -- An evening fire ripped through a Modesto property on Monday, leaving nine people out of a home.

A battalion chief with the Modesto Fire Department says it took place at a group home on Robbie Avenue near Charline Court, which provides housing to mentally and developmentally disabled adults.

"Oh, it’s horrible, definitely," said neighbor Frank Schillici.

The flames were so strong, Schillici said he was scared for his family.

"Well, I have a 4-year-old so getting her out of the house, getting the dog out of the house, getting the car away from the house... because we didn’t know if it was going to spread," Schillici said.

Modesto Fire Battalion Chief Andrew Hunter reports the fire ripped through the outside then made its way to the attic.

Fortunately, no one was injured.

"All the occupants were out of the structure," Hunter said. "Crews made an aggressive attack."

According to the California Department of Social Services, the home is licensed by the state to Mitchell Residential. Two years ago they were cited for failing to provide adequate care. But the most recent inspection in December shows no issues.

According to the state, a facility like the group home in Modesto required to have an emergency plan in place for temporary housing.

FOX40 reached out to Mitchell Residential. The person who answered the phone said "no comment."

Hunter said their crews also made sure the residents had a safe place.

"We utilized Red Cross to find someplace for them to stay overnight," Hunter said.

Hunter says the cause of the fire is still under investigation. Crews will have to assess whether or not the home is habitable.