Calif. FFs save man locked inside burning dumpster enclosure

Modesto Fire Department Battalion Chief Darin Jesberg said the man was "extremely lucky" that firefighters happened to be just a few blocks away

Erin Tracy
The Modesto Bee

MODESTO, Calif. — The Modesto Fire Department early Friday morning saved a man who was locked inside a burning dumpster enclosure in south Modesto.

A bread delivery driver called 911 around 1:15 a.m. when he spotted the fire at a strip mall on Crows Landing Road, south of Glenn Avenue, and heard a man yelling for help, said Battalion Chief Darin Jesberg.

Modesto firefighters rescued a man locked inside a burning dumpster enclosure on Friday.
Modesto firefighters rescued a man locked inside a burning dumpster enclosure on Friday. (Photo/Modesto Fire Department)

He said crews on Engine 10 were on their way back from a fire in Ceres so they happened to be only a few blocks away when the call came out.

When the crew arrived, the dumpster enclosure was well involved in fire. They could hear the man screaming for help through the crack between the large door hinges.

One firefighter began putting water on the fire while the rest of the crew cut the chain and lock on the door and pulled the man out.

Jesberg said the man suffered smoke inhalation and burns to his hands. He was taken by ambulance to Doctors Medical Center.

"He was extremely lucky," Jesberg said. "Had (firefighters) not been right there I don't think it would have been a positive outcome."

He said the man admitted to firefighters that he entered the enclosure to smoke methamphetamine, then started a warming fire, which got out of control.

Jesberg said it's unclear how the man got into the locked enclosure but suspects he was able to crawl underneath the door.


(c)2021 The Modesto Bee (Modesto, Calif.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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