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City Survives Heat Wave
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It was brief, just a couple of days in duration, but it was the first bona fide heat wave of the summer.

Temperatures soared past the century mark on Saturday and Sunday, May 16 and 17, but cooled off to a more seasonable low 90s degree reading on Monday. Escalon Police Chief Doug Dunford said his department did not make any special home visits this time around, given that the 'wave' was relatively short.

"Usually we will do them when it is a prolonged period," he said of making sure officers check in on the elderly and housebound during triple digit heat.

More than once over the past few summers, a coordinated effort of fire, police and ambulance personnel have fanned out around the city to do the safety checks, making sure residents have fans or air conditioners and are doing all right in the heat.

Dunford said he anticipates having to do the same this year, but officials opted not to enact the emergency visits for this first heat wave. Local waterways, however, were jammed with people looking for a way to cool down.

Forecasters are calling for temperatures that will be slightly above normal for this time of year during the next week, but not a return to the triple digits.

Meanwhile, Escalon firefighters were called to an early morning house fire on Sunday, battling the flames in already warm conditions.

The fire was reported about 4:45 a.m., coming in as a structure fire in the 21000 block of River. The vacant single story, single family home was fully involved in flames when firefighters arrived on the scene, at River near Van Allen.

"We basically attacked it from the exterior," said Battalion Chief Joe Pelot, noting that the roof was already starting to cave in when the first responding units arrived on scene.

The vacant home had no utilities hooked up to it, prompting fire officials to label the blaze as suspicious. Crews were on the scene for about two-and-a-half hours and called in a truck from Farmington to cover the Escalon station.