One man injured in mid-afternoon explosion on Crossroads Drive
by Bob Brownne
Nov 29, 2013 | 20006 views | 14 14 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Explosion on Crossroads Drive
A Tracy firefighter pulls a hose away after crews put out a fire in a house and garage at 1334 Crossroads Drive after an explosion Friday, Nov. 29.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Readers share views of explosion
Smoke and flames pour from the garage of the home at 1334 Crossroads Drive after an explosion Friday, Nov. 29.  Courtesy of Brian Schilling
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One man was injured and airlifted to an area hospital after he was burned in a mid-afternoon explosion in the garage of a Crossroads Drive home on Friday, Nov. 29.

Tracy police and firefighters are still investigating the cause of the blast, which happened shortly after 3 p.m. at 1334 Crossroads Drive.

Tracy Police Department was called at 3:13 p.m., and officers evacuated several homes and blocked off the neighborhood around Crossroads Drive, Spencer Court and Gaines Court.

Heavily armed officers, backed up by the police department’s Bearcat armored vehicle, investigated reports of gunshots fired and a rumor that someone armed with an assault rifle was in the area.

Sgt. Tony Sheneman of Tracy Police Department said those reports turned out to be unfounded.

“We’re not aware of any gunshots,” Sheneman said, adding that no weapons or ammunition were found at the scene.

According to police, the injured man was the only person in the house. Sheneman said officers had visited the house earlier Friday morning for an unrelated call, but details of that incident were unavailable.

John Gaisague, who lives two blocks to the east on Manley Drive, said he was fixing a playground set in the backyard of his neighbor Samuel Martinez’s house at the time of the explosion.

“We heard a big ol’ bang,” Gaisague said. “We went in the car and got around to the area and saw the garage door blew open, launched over to the other side of the street. The guy was on the ground crying for help.”

Neighbors closer to the blast reported a chaotic scene, with a man on fire in his front yard, screaming for help, as flames and black smoke poured out of the garage.

“When I came outside, I saw people running down trying to help the guy and making sure everyone was OK,” said Brian Schilling, who lives a few houses to the north on Gaines Court at the intersection with Crossroads Drive.

Anthony Bercasio, who lives next door to the north, said he heard and felt the explosion from his upstairs bedroom. He ran outside and saw his neighbor in front of the house.

“When I saw him, his back was on fire. He grabbed the hose and sprayed it on his back,” Bercasio said. “He kept trying to go in the garage. I don’t know why he was trying to go in. The whole garage was on fire.”

Alexis McCarthy, who lives three houses to the west on Spencer Court, heard the explosions and saw the man on fire. She also saw the man try to go back into the house.

“The house was actually exploding,” she said. “That’s when someone jumped out of their car and dragged him onto the grass.”

The man, who has not been identified, had burns to his hands and arms. An air ambulance helicopter landed at nearby Busch Park and flew him to an area hospital.

Tracy Fire Department Division Chief Steve Hanlon said the fire did not damage any neighboring homes.

Sheneman said the Tracy Fire Department arson investigator and the Tracy Police Department general investigation unit will look into the explosion together.

• Glenn Moore contributed to this report. Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or brownne@tracypress.com.

Comments
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gainescourt
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December 02, 2013
So there was definitely an explosion, it blew the garage door clear across the street.... This was no water heater explosion. IF you close the valves AND plug the pressure relief valve AND have a faulty thermostat, then once the tank fails, you can get an amazing explosion. Even then it is purely pressure and water that instantly boils off because it is over boiling temp. That wont result in all this fire. It could have been a gas leak, or propane or something mixed with the right amount of oxygen and then ignited by the water heater pilot light or other source. And as others have mentioned, the hole in the roof was absolutely cut for access by the FD. The fact remains that we just don't know yet what happened. The only thing we know is that the house is pretty much done, the guy was hurt, and everyone else is alright. It was scary for all the close neighbors, especially the ones I saw running out with their children directly south of this home. I live nearby and am curious what happened, and have some suspicions also, but we have to wait for inspectors to release their reports to know whats real (unless you know something else the rest of us don't).
noneya84
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December 02, 2013
I saw everything unfold as I was walking home from the park with my toddler and niece. I truly hope that man is well and he gets through this as best as he possibly can. It is terrible to lose everything specially in the holiday season. It was not something pretty to see so people should have some type of sympathy he ran out of his garage screaming on fire my 7 year old niece was terrified I sent her home as I called 911.

I truly hope he is recovering and doesn't let this terrible thing beat him he is still alive and that's plenty to be greatful for.

cody01
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December 02, 2013
Water heater blows(Which they never do anymore) That would mean a gas leak. Continuous gas leak. Heavier than air.

No, That was a clean explosion. Go Green! lol
1219tracy
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December 01, 2013
Why was a hole blown in the roof? It's on the opposite side from the garage, where the (I'm assuming) the water heater would be. Even if it was drugs, how would the hole get there? I wonder what the rest of the house looks like. If it was a water heater would it blow all the pipes apart? Just curious about the explosion.
mthouseman
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December 01, 2013
I don't believe that this is a hole blown in the roof...it looks more like it was cut by the fire dept. to gain access to attic area to put out the fire
tcitizen1
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December 01, 2013
Its a fire tactic to remove the smoke from inside the house. It's a matter of ventilating the smoke so it doesnt say trapped inside the house and diffuses into the atmosphere.
tcitizen1
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December 01, 2013
I spoke with a police officer, who is in the picture next to the bear cat mobile, and he said it was still under investigation however drugs don't seem to be involved. He said most likely it was a water heater explosion. Google it and you can see similar explosions caused by water heaters. It's unfortunate that everyone jumps the gun and think the worst of people in these type of freak accidents. Give the guy the benefit of the doubt before assuming that he's up to no good. Had to put my two cents..
PuppyDogg
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December 02, 2013
tcitizen1 wrote: "It's unfortunate that everyone jumps the gun and think the worst of people in these type of freak accidents. Give the guy the benefit of the doubt before assuming that he's up to no good."

It is unfortunate tcitizen1 but, look at the sources behind most of the negative and almost always, hippocratic comments. I call them Keyboard Warriors. All bark and no bite. Free to say whatever they wish. All while tucked-in safe and sound under their blankets of the 2nd Amendment and the anonymity of the internet.
cody01
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November 30, 2013
Never said it was Meth. Meth doesn't blow up anymore. Butane does. And, Yes, I would say the party did not have any knowledge of how to properly handle such ingredients. In total agreement with you, Not a chemist.

It is suspicious. i'm a gambler but I wouldn't wager on this one. Even though;

1. Fire went out like right then.

2. Guy was trying to get back in.

3. All the garage's blown up lately were usually something not legal.

All we have to go on. But, This paper has to make for another article on this, That, Also, Would lead me to believe in a certain direction.

It doesn't look good.
cody01
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November 30, 2013
@Sneaky YEP! Surprised half of hidden lake hasn't enjoyed these fireworks.

Meth? LOL No, Honey oil.

@ Atoigue89, my goodness, why so defensive? Too much caffeine in your coffee?

Yes, Only time will tell. Waiting and waiting and waiting. Soon as the firefighters went in they know.They knew at the time of this article. So, Why the suspense?
Sneaky
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November 29, 2013
I would bet 10 to 1 that someone was up to no good. Someone was probably cooking meth or something along those lines.
Sneaky
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November 30, 2013
Atoigue89,

so does that mean you would be willing to wager a bit with the odds I offered?



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