A small fire broke out inside a Santa Maria hotel room Tuesday morning, injuring one man and causing significant flooding from the sprinkler system, according to a spokesman.
Crews received an alert for a fire inside a second-story room of the Hampton Inn and Suites located at the corner of North Broadway and Preisker Lane shortly before 5 a.m., according to Santa Maria Deputy Fire Chief Todd Tuggle.
The blaze initially triggered a smoke alarm and was quickly followed by a water flow alarm, which is connected to the alarm company and alerted the Fire Department. The Department sent two engines, a truck and a battalion chief to the scene.
Upon arriving, firefighters noted smoke and located the hotel room with the fire, which was kept in check by the sprinkler system but was eventually put out by crews.
Additionally, firefighters found a man in his 30s in the hotel lobby who was pulled out of the smoke-filled room by a bystander awakened by the alarms, Tuggle said.
The man was treated by firefighters for smoke inhalation, abrasions and minor lacerations, then transported to Marian Regional Medical Center via American Medical Response ambulance for further treatment and released.
An investigation revealed that the room was being rented out by a good Samaritan for a homeless veteran, who was microwaving something and lost track of time, according to Tuggle, causing the microwave to burst into flames and catch the desk on fire.
The man became trapped in the hotel room and tried to escape out of the window, suffering lacerations in the process.
Tuggle said the sprinkler system caused significant damage to the room, with the adjacent room and downstairs lobby also suffering significant water damage.
Two more Santa Maria Fire engines and an investigator and a Santa Barbara County District Attorney arson task force investigator also responded to the scene, Tuggle said.
"We are currently understaffed in our investigations divisions," Tuggle said, adding that the District Attorney's investigator assists with fires that cause significant damage and start under suspicious circumstances.
Sign up for our Crime & Courts newsletter
Get the latest in local public safety news with this weekly email.