3-Alarm Blaze Rages Through Vacant Modesto Ice Plant

MODESTO -- Several local agencies battled a three-alarm fire Sunday in Modesto.

The blaze took over a large, vacant ice plant on North 9th Street and Tully Road.

Firefighters say the building was long abandoned, but some still called it home.

"I felt safe there," Dean Drobnick, who is homeless, told FOX40. "I really did."

Modesto Fire Chief Alan Ernst says the fire put a strain on the city's resources.

“Crews are very challenged with limited resources initially," he said.

Neighboring agencies had to pitch in when a home on Enslen Avenue caught fire.

"It was a challenging fire but everybody did a tremendous job, we saved a lot of property," Ernst said.

Firefighters were still hosing down hot spots on Monday with the help of a drone flying above the building.

"It's actually unsafe to put firefighters within the perimeter of the building right now because the walls aren't secure," Ernst said.

Ernst added that crews may remain on the scene for another day or so.

It's unknown what caused the fire. Two firefighters sustained minor injuries in the Enslen Avenue fire but no other injuries were reported.

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