Fire destroyed a camper parked among some boarded-up buildings on Third Street on Wednesday night.
Nobody was in the camper, and a family in a nearby house was evacuated while Tracy firefighters put out the blaze, which was reported at about 10 p.m. Though some neighbors said they had heard of suspicious circumstances, Tracy Fire Department Division Chief David Bramell said there was no evidence to indicate that it was arson.
The camper was parked between a vacant house and a garage near the corner of Third and C streets. The abandoned home is next to the old Mi Ranchito tortilla factory. Firefighters saved those buildings from serious damage, though a shipping container next to the camper was badly scorched.
According to Bramell, the property owner said the camper did not belong to her. City of Tracy code enforcement inspector Jim Decker said he was familiar with the camper.
“We had been working on vehicle abatement for that mobile home because it had been parked illegally,” he said.
Neighbor Cynthia DeLeon said it had been parked there for about a month, and added that Tracy police arrested the man who lives in the camper a couple of hours before the blaze. Tracy police logs show that he was booked into San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp on series of misdemeanor warrants dating back to 2005.
Though the vacant house is boarded up, some open doors and graffiti on the inside of the house show that people still go inside. Neighbor Ralph Barreras, who said his godmother owns the property, said it’s an ongoing problem.
“She’s done her best to keep it boarded up, but they’ll cut the chains and pull the screws out,” he said.
To reach reporter Bob Brownne, call 830-4227 or e-mail email@example.com.