Busy Fourth weekend for fire and police
by Elias Funez
Jul 10, 2014 | 3137 views | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Members of the Patterson Volunteer Fire Department moved into place quickly to quell the flames of this structure fire that occurred over the busy Independence Day weekend Saturday evening.--photo by Elias Funez/Patterson Irrigator
Members of the Patterson Volunteer Fire Department moved into place quickly to quell the flames of this structure fire that occurred over the busy Independence Day weekend Saturday evening.--photo by Elias Funez/Patterson Irrigator
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A Patterson Fire first responder carries an axe with him towards the scene of Saturday evening's structure fire off of Hunter Creek Dr in the Walker Ranch subdivision.--photo by Elias Funez/Patterson Irrigator
A Patterson Fire first responder carries an axe with him towards the scene of Saturday evening's structure fire off of Hunter Creek Dr in the Walker Ranch subdivision.--photo by Elias Funez/Patterson Irrigator
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A pair of neighborhood Good Samaritans use a couple of garden hoses in an attempt to keep the flames at bay before Patterson Fire arrived on scene.--photo by Elias Funez/Patterson Irrigator
A pair of neighborhood Good Samaritans use a couple of garden hoses in an attempt to keep the flames at bay before Patterson Fire arrived on scene.--photo by Elias Funez/Patterson Irrigator
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A Patterson Fire first responder gets fire hoses into place before dousing the burning garage with water during Saturday's structure fire on the 1400 block of Hunter Creek Drive.--photo by Elias Funez/Patterson Irrigator
A Patterson Fire first responder gets fire hoses into place before dousing the burning garage with water during Saturday's structure fire on the 1400 block of Hunter Creek Drive.--photo by Elias Funez/Patterson Irrigator
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Patterson firefighters assess the scene and get into place to put out the structure fire that occurred Saturday evening off of Hunter Creek Drive in the Walker Ranch subdivision.--photo by Elias Funez/Patterson Irrigator
Patterson firefighters assess the scene and get into place to put out the structure fire that occurred Saturday evening off of Hunter Creek Drive in the Walker Ranch subdivision.--photo by Elias Funez/Patterson Irrigator
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A fairly busy three-day Fourth of July weekend kept local first responders on their toes dealing with a pair of fires that broke out Saturday July 5, as well as responding to a string of vehicle thefts and vandalisms that occurred throughout the morning and evening of July 4. Javier Moises Valle, 17, who was classified as an at risk teen due to his autism, went missing most of the day Thursday July 3 adding to the heavy load for area first responders.

Teen goes missing

Moises Valle was last seen in the vicinity of Hwy 33 and Las Palmas Avenue around 8:30 a.m. July 3. The local sheriffs, however, weren’t notified of his disappearance until later that evening. A call for help from the family prompted local sheriffs to notify the Irrigator, who posted the incident on the newspapers’ social media and website with a description of the boy. Eventually Moises Valle was found walking safely in the vicinity of his home around 7:00 p.m.

Vehicle thefts

Within a two hour span the morning of July 4 Patterson Police Services reported on 5 calls within the city regarding vehicles that had been either vandalized or stolen. An attempted vehicle theft was reported on the 1000 block of West Las Palmas Avenue at 9:52 a.m., while a Toyota Camry was taken from someone without permission in the same vicinity about a half hour later, according to excerpts from the Patterson Police Services dispatchers’ daily log.

Despite the high volume of calls over the weekend, Patterson Police Chief Tori Hughes had nothing of significance to report on.

Two fires burn simultaneously

At approximately 6:00 p.m. the evening of July 5, a fire caused by smoking related material, quickly spread from between the fenced in side yards of two Walker Ranch homes, eventually consuming the majority of a garage of one of the homes on the 1400 block of Hunter Creek Drive. Brothers Richard Sanchez and David Anthony, both active in their neighborhood watch, were barbecuing one block over on Nubian Street when they noticed clouds of black smoke coming over the house.

Upon arrival at the scene, a resident homeowner was notified that her house was on fire, which she was unaware of. Both Sanchez and Anthony worked quickly to move a pair of vehicles parked in the driveway out of harms way, as well as worked to get a dog and the homeowners’ son out of the other home.

Loud pops and small explosions could be heard as items such as a lawnmower were quickly consumed as fuel for the spreading fire while a gathering group of Good Samaritans used garden hoses in an attempt to slow the conflagration until Patterson Fire Department could get on scene.

“I was hearing pops and explosions and I was thinking ‘I’m gonna die’,” said Richard Sanchez.

“It was frightening but we were able to get the owners, their dog, and their cars out of harms way.”

Damage to the structure from the fire prompted TID to pull the meter from the home, and the American Red Cross was called to the scene to assess the needs of the family most affected by the fire, relocating them to a hotel for three nights.

Homeowner Ericka Gordon thanked firefighters and the quick acting neighbors from a comment on the Irrigator’s facebook page.

“If it wasn’t for them getting my son and dog out of the house and containing the fire, this would be a different story told,” said Gordon.

At around the same time the evening of July 5 firefighters were called to reports of a vegetation fire off of Calvinson Parkway in the adjacent Patterson Gardens’ housing subdivision that was believed to be caused by a firework.

Despite the consistent visual and audible displays of illegal fireworks exploding over the night skies of Patterson over the Independence Day weekend, Patterson and West Stanislaus Fire Agencies’ Fire Chief Steven Hall was surprised that there weren’t more firework related emergency service calls.

“People don’t take into consideration with what goes up must come down,” said Chief Hall.

Elias Funez can be reached at 209-892-6187 ext: 31 or elias@pattersonirrigator.com
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