A dozen residents escaped injury Sunday afternoon when a fire started in the garage and progressed into their single-story home in the 900 block of North College Drive in Santa Maria.

Eight adults and four children had escaped safely by the time firefighters arrived to the flaming, smoking home shortly after 1:20 p.m., according to Battalion Chief Scott Johnson of the Santa Maria Fire Department.

The damage was estimated at $150,000 to the structure and $25,000 to its contents.

With “an aggressive interior attack coordinated with ventilation crews operating on the roof, the fire was brought under control in about 30 minutes,” Johnson said.

Four of the city’s fire engines, a truck company and a battalion chief responded to the fire, as crews from Cal Fire and Santa Barbara County Fire Department moved in to cover the city in case of further calls.

Santa Maria Police Department handled traffic control and the AMR ambulance service responded as well, though no injuries were reported.

Fire investigators also responded and began work to determine the cause of the blaze, Johnson said.

The American Red Cross made arrangements for the residents displaced by the fire, and a “board-up company” secured the building, he added.


(2) comments


12 people living in one single family residence? Gee...


I can only assume this house was a typical Northern Santa Maria residence because the media reported that there were a dozen "residents" in "their single-story residence". This over-crowded house incident is such a significant problem for everyone else in this neighborhood. I have been a victim of this overcrowding problem as may others have. What ever happened to responsible lanlords in this community. I know that there are too many landlords that don't check up on how many people are in their rental properties, as long as they get their check, they are happy. The big problem is that the other homeowners living in these neighborhoods are losing so much value in their homes. Neighborhoods continue to turn into slums. It is very common in the farm labor communities where a family rents a home and rents rooms and mattress-ridden garages to other laborers. This problem continues to lower the desirability to live in this community and only lowers property values. It also contributes to a lot of crime within those neighhborhoods. The only ones that seem to prosper in this situation is the person on the rental agreement.

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