Turlock, CA Business Fire, July 1964

Packing Plant Fire



Turlock -- The block square Turlock Fruit Company packing shed at Broadway and B Street and a nearby garage were destroyed late this morning by a roaring blaze which sent five fire fighters to the hospital with heat prostration.
The fast spreading fire was reported at 9:04 AM and was considered controlled at 10:45 AM, but mopping up operations were expected to continue into this evening.
Turlock Fire Chief CARROLL CHITTOCK said the cause is under investigation.

To Hospital.
Admitted to the Turlock Community Hospital where they were described as in satisfactory condition were Fireman LINCOLN HUPP, 52, of 1427 Merritt Street, and citizen volunteers DENNIS ROBINSON, 22, of Oakdale, and JOHN ROBINSON, 21, and PAUL CARLSON, 20, both of Turlock. Fireman LOUIS A. SANTOS, 22, was treated and released.
Manager and part owner DON W. SMITH said the packing operation is "a total loss" but he refused to estimate it in dollars. He said the shed was fully insured.
The other owners are ROSE M. SMITH and JOHN W. PALMER.
SMITH said the packing shed contained no fruit but was filled with invoices and various merchandise. He said packing operations were to have begun next Tuesday.
Citizens assisted about 100 firemen manning trucks from the Turlock, Turlock Volunteer and Turlock Rural Fire Departments.

Heat Problem.
The flames generated intense heat and kept firemen at a distance. Hundreds of spectators also watched as vehicles jammed surrounding streets, creating a major traffic problem.
Flames had engulfed most of the plant by the time firemen arrived and they confined much of their effort to hosing down nearby structures to prevent spreading. They were successful except for the razed garage on Broadway near A Street.
The fire was spotted and reported by plant maintenance man GENE LANDERS, who SMITH said had been sent home "in a highly nervous condition."

The Modesto Bee California 1964-07-24