At the scene, resident Ron Johnson said he returned home to 2590 W. Byron Road from grocery shopping just after 4 p.m. to find heavy smoke coming from his house.
Johnson said he lives alone with his two dogs.
“I went to the front door and my dogs are in there, my baby girl and baby boy are in there, so I opened the door and all kinds of smoke came out, and I yelled for them but they didn’t come,” he said. “I knew what was happening, so I went to the back and pushed that door open and then I got the water hose and started spraying it.”
When some of the smoke cleared, Johnson said he saw flames coming from the laundry room area. He had started the dryer prior to leaving for the store.
“I saw the flames, and I know I left the dryer on, but that’s not illegal,” he said. “I’m just hoping I can save some of my clothes, because everything I own is in there and now I’m going to have nothing.”
Johnson still had not found his dogs about an hour after the fire was reported.
It’s possible that the flames were fueled by the large amount of garbage and personal belongings that were piled around the house.
Jim Decker, a Tracy code enforcement officer, said at the scene it’s still being determined if that was a factor in the fire spreading.
However, he said that the landlord of the residence has been cited for excess rubbish and for noncompliant work on the house’s electrical and plumbing systems. Those warnings were heeded when the landlord complied by cleaning the property.
“We need to put out the flames and get people out of the building, and this (the rubbish) contributes to more time it takes to do those things,” he said. “That’s what people need to understand. I know they love their things, but they need to do it within reason.”
The structure of the home remained standing, though the inside appeared destroyed by water and flames.
No injuries were reported, and none of the surrounding houses were affected by the fire.
Tracy fire officials were unavailable to speak at the scene.
• Contact Joel Danoy at 830-4229 or firstname.lastname@example.org