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Huge Mal Aid Response To Factory Fire In Riverbank
A Modesto fire crew and Battalion Chief arrive on scene at the Silgan Containers factory on Patterson Road in Riverbank last week. Travelers on Patterson Road were forced to navigate through the plethora of emergency equipment rendering mutual aid on Thursday morning. Ric McGinnis/The News

Travelers on Patterson Road late last week were forced to snake their way through many units of emergency equipment as firefighters and public safety officers surrounded the Silgan Containers factory on Thursday morning, June 14.

According to a Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Public Information Officer, the incident was originally reported as a routine fire but quickly got elevated to a “commercial fire” at the factory.

Ultimately, he said, five engines, two trucks and two Battalion Chiefs responded from both SCFD and Modesto Fire.

That equipment was in addition to Riverbank Police Services’ Traffic and Community Services officers on hand to help with potential traffic problems. At least a dozen emergency units were counted at the scene at Patterson Road and First Street that morning.

Water tenders and ladder trucks were scattered in the company parking lot, on both sides of Patterson Road, and even in the middle lane, waiting to be called into action.

While firefighters responded to the interior of the building, employees stood around in the parking lots, staying well clear of the action.

The PIO disclosed that the fire, although producing little smoke at the exterior of the factory, was limited to the ventilation system.

He said the fire took so long to deal with because the equipment had to be dismantled piece by piece to get to the source of the combustion.

He was able to report that damage to the facility was limited to an estimated $60,000 and the damage was so limited they were able to continue work afterwards. He noted it could have run into the millions and shut down the plant but luckily did not get to that point.

As the largest provider of metal food packaging in the United States, Silgan Containers is used by America’s most respected brands.

The local Silgan Containers factory is one of a group of units nearby, with three in Modesto and one in Sacramento, of the over two dozen manufacturing facilities across the country. The corporate office is in Woodland Hills, CA, and there are five sales office locations in the U.S.

There is also a technology center that houses nine fully-equipped labs and a state-of-the-art product development center.