San Luis Obispo City Fire Department personnel responded to a reported structure fire at 729 Pismo Street Road in San Luis Obispo at 2:47 yesterday. The first arriving unit found a rapidly spreading fire in the 113 year-old two-story 4 unit wood frame apartment building with occupants evacuating the from the heavy fire conditions present on both floors. Four of the nine occupants who live in the structure were home when the fire was discovered. One resident who lived in the 2nd floor apartment narrowly escaped injury by jumping from the first floor roof prior to the arrival of the Fire Department. Heavy fire and smoke conditions in the interior stairway between the first and second floor prevented him from retreating down the stairs.
The fire was quickly attacked on both floors and the uninvolved apartments were protected from damage caused by the rapidly developing fire. Control was achieved within 25 minutes. The American Red Cross responded to provide temporary housing and assistance to the displaced occupants.
Two minor injuries occurred to two firefighters on scene. They were evaluated at a local emergency room and returned to duty. No injuries occurred to the occupants. A dog who lived in the second floor apartment succumbed to its injuries. The property loss/damage to the structure and contents is estimated at over $500,000. According to SLOFD Fire Marshal Roger Maggio the cause of the fire was determined to be accidental in nature and involved a sofa that was placed over an operating natural gas floor furnace in a first floor unit. The apartment building had a few battery-operated smoke detectors installed, but they were too damaged by the fire to determine whether they were in operating condition at the time of the fire.