Oakdale Police and Fire crews were busy Thursday night, Feb. 25 and into the early hours of Friday morning, Feb. 26.
Around 9:25 p.m. Thursday, detectives from the Stanislaus County Auto Theft Taskforce discovered a stolen vehicle with two occupants on northbound Geer Road past Grayson Road. When Stanislaus Sheriff’s deputies attempted to stop the car, the vehicle fled at a high rate of speed near Albers and Claribel roads just south of Oakdale.
When speeds topped 100 mph, the pursuit was cancelled. Oakdale Police units that had been alerted located the car at the Chevron Station at 977 S. Yosemite Ave. The driver and passenger were believed to have fled from the vehicle and police units established a perimeter to search for the suspects. A Police K-9 unit responded to the scene to assist with locating the suspects.
After a search of the area, the suspects were not located. Authorities broke down the perimeter shortly after 11 p.m.
Less than two hours later, at 12:42 a.m., Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District crews responded to a single story house fire in the 100 block of Lambuth Avenue.
According to SCFPD Information Officer Carissa Higginbotham, the structure was fully engulfed in flames when fire units arrived. The responding crew determined that no one was home inside the house at the time of the fire.
Due to the size of the fire and threat to other homes in close proximity, four engine companies, a quintuple combination pumper truck, and two battalion chiefs were needed at the scene. A fire investigator was later called out to determine the origin of the fire.
Oakdale Police units were needed at the scene for traffic and crowd control as crews fought the blaze.
Higginbotham said there was “extensive damage” to the entire home and a neighboring house suffered heat damage to its external structure.
All emergency personnel were clear of the scene at 3:34 a.m.
The fire and its origin remain under investigation. Anyone with information should call the Stanislaus County Fire Protection District at (209) 869-7470.