Fire at The Swiss Restaurant in Santa Maria

This screenshot from a video provided by Gina Gamez shows fire crews working on a fire at The Swiss Restaurant last week.


Fire causes minor damage to The Swiss Restaurant; firefighter injured

A fire broke out early Wednesday at The Swiss Restaurant in Santa Maria, damaging a portion of the building and resulting in a minor injury to a firefighter. 

Units responded around 12:30 a.m. to the report of fire in the 500 block of North Broadway, according to Tony Clayburg, a Santa Maria Fire Department battalion chief. 

The fire appeared to have started at the building's exterior before spreading to the interior, damaging a store room and causing smoke damage throughout the kitchen, according to Clayburg. 

The injured firefighter was treated on scene, and no other injuries were reported. 

Santa Maria police and fire investigators remained on scene Wednesday reviewing surveillance camera footage to determine what happened, Clayburg said. 

In a social media statement, restaurant owners said they lost some equipment in the blaze and also noted minor structural damage. 

"We are grateful that the front end of the restaurant and bar area did not suffer fire damage," said the owners, who added that employees are in the process of repairing damage and that they hope to reopen in the coming weeks. 

Several emergency units responded to the fire, including five engines, one truck and a battalion chief from the Santa Maria Fire Department, along with an ambulance and police patrol units. 


Hancock College program offers educational videos for local youth

Hancock College is offering free and fun educational activity videos for local students in fifth and sixth grades through its Bulldog Bound program. 

The program, normally offered in person, offers activities taught by faculty related to programs of study at Hancock. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, activities were completed in a virtual format this year, college spokesman Chris McGuinness said. 

Families can visit Hancock's YouTube page to learn about rocketry and math with the “PI Pups” video, practice stretching and dance with “Dance Dogs,” and solve a mystery with “Baker Street Bulldogs," McGuinness said.   

“We are very happy that we can continue this program that not only provides local children with engaging learning activities but, also, fosters a college-going culture among our elementary school students," Bulldog Bound Coordinator Maggie Moreton said. 

During the program, youth and families also learn about the Hancock Promise, which guarantees free tuition and fees for the first year at Hancock to students who graduate from a high school within the Allan Hancock Joint Community College District.

For more information on the Bulldog Bound program, visit


Families invited to drive-in viewing of 'Hop' at Elks Unocal Event Center

The Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department will host a drive-in family movie night featuring the 2011 animated film "Hop" at the Elks Unocal Event Center this Saturday. 

"Hop" is a family-friendly movie focusing on a rabbit named E.B. who is destined to become the Easter Bunny but determined to become a rock star drummer, city spokesman Mark van de Kamp said.

Attendees will be able to view the film from their cars on an inflatable 32-foot screen at the event center and listen via their radios.

While entry to the movie night is free, residents will need to register online prior to the event at in order to enter, according to van de Kamp.

Gates open at 7 p.m. Saturday, and the film is expected to begin at dusk, or around 7:45 p.m., according to van de Kamp. 

The Elks Event Center is located at 4040 Highway 101 in Santa Maria.

For more information about the event, contact the Recreation and Parks Department at 805-925-0951, ext. 2260.


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