January 30, 2017.
WeEscalon – 09:43a.m. – This morning Escalon Fire Department, Police, and City Public Works responded to a single family home that was burning on Franklin Street near Coley Avenue. On arrival, they could see smoke billowing from under the eaves of the home and immediately got to work on the fire. Escalon Fire called for mutual aid in battling the fire and for defending the surrounding homes from flames. Stanislaus Consolidated Fire and Ripon Fire both sent trucks with crews to assist.
One of the neighbors had a passer-by stop and alert them of the fire. They immediately called 9-1-1 to report the smoke pouring out of the vents and edges of the roof from the house next door. No one was home at the time of the fire.
An Escalon Public Works crew was nearby and one of the first to arrive. They started using waterhoses to attempt to keep the fire from spreading and assisted the arriving fire crews.
The fire crews tackled the fire at first from the windows and doors of the home. They then made entry into the building to fight the fire inside. Most of the inside of the home was engulfed in flames and full of smoke. Fire crews used breathing apparatuses for protection from the smoke and debris. Crews had to cut through the ceiling sheet rock and insulation to get at the fire in the attic.
While fighting the fire, one of the fireman discovered a small dog that had succumbed to smoke inhalation and removed the pet from the building. The combined fire crews were able to contain the fire to the one residence and minimized damage to the outside of the home. Escalon Fire personnel attempted to gather and remove anything that looked important from the damaged home. Crews placed the salvageable items in the driveway for the homeowner.
A neighbor was able to contact the resident and let her know about the fire. The resident arrived just after the fire was put out. She was greeted by emergency personnel, advised of the condition of her home, and was told about her dog that had succumbed to smoke inhalation. The resident told fire personnel she also had a cat in the house. One member of the fire department went back into the burned out home and found the cat which had also succumbed to smoke inhalation. Escalon Community Ambulance was dispatched to treat the resident who was overwhelmed with grief.
The cause of the fire is yet to be determined, but fire personnel believe the fire originated somewhere in the kitchen area.