MANTECA (CBS13) — New homes under construction in a Manteca neighborhood caught fire, and now investigators are calling the fires suspicious.
Cellphone video shows flames up to 40 feet tall erupting from the homes. Crews said the fire spread quickly, destroying a total of four homes in its path.
“If it would have gotten another house or two we probably would have lost the remainder of the block,” said Manteca Fire Marshall Lantz Rey.
Some neighbors spotted the flames as they drove to work and got ready for Fourth of July parties. Dispatchers asked Jacob Malear how many homes were on fire.
“By the time I said one, it had already spread to two and ended up being four,” he said.
Rey is not ruling out the possibility fireworks may have started the fire.
‘We’ve ruled out so far from the process natural causes — no lightning…things like that. There were no utilities in these homes. So no gas, no electric,” he said.
There was another fire just days ago at a home under construction nearby on Woodward Avenue.
Investigators said that fire was arson, but they aren’t making any connections with the fire Thursday just yet.
“To have five homes burned in a new subdivision in a week’s time, it’s pretty suspicious I think,” said neighbor Mike Taylor.
The Manteca Fire Marshall is bringing in extra support from other agencies including Cal Fire. For now, there is a 24-hour security presence in the area.