CERES — A second arson investigator was called in to help determine just what sparked a blaze that forced dozens out of their homes in Ceres Wednesday night.
As the fire went to two alarms, crews from Ceres, Modesto and Stanislaus County battled to isolate the flames in apartments 140 and 144.
Families living in connected units at the Pine Ridge Apartments had to evacuate during the firefight.
The strong winds could have spread the fire quickly.
“We had a lot of fire coming from the balcony area, which the wind was driving that,” said Ceres Fire Chief Kevin Wise. “It could have possibly driven it into the apartment or the apartment below. So the weather’s definitely a factor as it’s blowing it towards, just similar to a chimney.”
With two apartments destroyed, six adults and two children were left without a home to go back to.
The American Red Cross has stepped in to provide temporary housing.