Calif. firefighter injured after falling through roof

The fire chief said he could not discuss details of the incident because it was under investigation but confirmed a firefighter suffered minor injuries


By Erin Tracy
The Modesto Bee

MODESTO, Calif. — A Ceres firefighter was injured Friday afternoon when witnesses said he fell partially through the roof of a house that was on fire in east Modesto.

Modesto Division Chief Mike Lillie said Friday evening he could not discuss details of the incident because it was under investigation but confirmed a firefighter suffered minor injuries and that a “Mayday” was called, which means a firefighter is in trouble.

Modesto and Ceres Fire departments responded to the fire at a duplex in the 500 block of North Riverside Drive at about 4:45 p.m.

There was smoke and fire on one side of the duplex when crews arrived.

Witnesses said several firefighters were on the roof when one of them fell through up to his chest. His arms and upper body remained above the hole in the roof and several other firefighters pulled him out, witnesses said.

The firefighter was treated at the scene by paramedics.

The fire was brought under control but damaged both sides of the duplex. A cat perished in the fire, Lillie said.

Modesto Police were also on scene of the fire and put a man on an involuntary psychiatric hold. Lt. Ivan Valencia said it is unclear if the man lives at one of the affected homes or if he was involved in the fire but police were called to the scene by firefighters who said the man appeared to be suffering mental health issues.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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