A fire Sunday night damaged a duplex in Turlock and led to the arrest of one person allegedly connected with the fire, authorities said.
Turlock police said that Santiago Estorga Oheda was arrested on suspicion of arson. Police said Oheda, who is in his early 30s, knew some people who were living in the duplex, including his former girlfriend.
Oheda was in Stanislaus County jail with bail set at $985,000.
At about 10:15 p.m., Turlock fire engines responded to a report of a vehicle fire near a duplex and apartments in the 1100 block of Colorado Avenue. Fire units arriving on scene found a carport engulfed in flames, with several vehicles burning, said Captain Jason Bernard of the Turlock Fire Department.
The fire was threatening adjacent structures. In Facebook posts, nearby residents described loud pops and people yelling and screaming.
The fire damaged eight cars, destroyed the carport and damaged the duplex immediately adjacent to the carport, Bernard said. Four adults and two children were displaced.
The fire was brought under control in about an hour, but fire units worked into the early morning, making sure it was completely out.
“It was an extensive fire; fortunately there were no injuries to the occupants or firefighters,” Bernard said. A row of apartments facing the street were not damaged.
Modesto Fire Department responded with mutual aid. The Stanislaus County Fire Investigation unit is conducting an arson investigation.
Authorities did not release all the details on the suspect arrested and how the fire was allegedly set. It appears the fire was started around the vehicles and grew, Bernard said.
Colorado Avenue was temporarily closed between Hawkeye Avenue and East Main Street. The American Red Cross was called to assist the displaced residents.