A burning 1977 Ford Sportstser camper was completely involved in flames late Thursday afternoon on Jack
Tone Road near Graves Road with black smoke seen billowing into the sky for miles from its burning gasoline and tires.
One of two pet cats was fatally burned in the blaze that is believed to have been caused by a faulty fuel line. Mei Dunn, of Manteca, was driving a family pickup truck while her husband Lucas was driving the camper. Lucas said when he noticed the smoke he pulled off on the shoulder of the road near an almond orchard.
Dunn received minor burns on her head and face and was treated by members of the Manteca Ambulance staff on the scene. Her hair had also been singed as she attempted to rescue one of her two cats. She said she usually kept the cats in the pickup truck. All of their personal property was lost in the fire and they were perplexed for what they would do that night.
The couple said they were homeless and had to spend their nights in different places sleeping in the camper they called home. They were uncertain what they would do for dinner or just where they would be able to spend the night.
Commuter traffic on Jack Tone was backed up in both directions and stopped in around the fire scene.
The Ripon Fire Department was unable to respond with all of its resources dedicated to the Caswell State Park vegetation blaze near the south end of Austin Road on the Stanislaus River. Lathrop-Manteca was the department that ended up responding to the fire.