Around 6:15 a.m., as firefighters battled a blaze that began at 5:56 a.m. at an abandoned cottage at 315 D St., they noticed smoke from a larger house fire two blocks away at 231 S. Sixth St., according to the Patterson Fire Department
No one was living in either of the homes at the time, and no one was injured, Chief Steve Hall said.
“We haven’t had anything like that recently,” Hall said. “It’s been awhile since we’ve had back-to-back calls like that.”
The cost of damage to the cottage appeared to be about $5,000, while the damage to the house looked to be about $50,000, Hall said. Both structures sustained substantial internal damage from the fires, which Hall said appeared to have started indoors in both instances.
An engine, a truck and a rescue vehicle responded to the D Street fire, carrying nine firefighters, who extinguished the blaze in about 30 minutes.
Two engines staffed with volunteer firefighters and two engines from the West Stanislaus County Fire Protection District battled the Sixth Street blaze, which was substantially bigger than the first, with 11 firefighters on the scene. That fire took about two hours to extinguish, Hall said.
“Because both fires started at about same time, it really taxed our resources,” he said.
Hall said the fire on D Street appeared suspicious.
On Tuesday, caution tape had been placed over the door of 315 D St., and rubble, including melted bedding and aluminum cans, was scattered along the ground.
Signs posted there and at an adjacent cottage, 325 D St., which caught fire in January, indicated that both residences were uninhabitable.
According to Hall, it appears at this point that the Sixth Street fire was accidental. The owners of the residence live in Newman, and their son has been overseeing the property, Hall said. A sign also was posted there this week indicating the home was uninhabitable.
Both fires remain under investigation.
n Contact Jonathan Partridge at 892-6187, ext. 26, or firstname.lastname@example.org.