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Pre-arrival video: Apartment fire in Santa Maria, California.

This is video from an apartment fire Wednesday in the 900 block of East Jones Street near Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, California.


“When we arrived we had a downstairs and an upstairs apartment units fully involved”, says Santa Maria Fire Department Chief Jeffrey Jones, “so we ordered quite a few resources not just for here but to backfill the rest of the city’s needs.”

At least one cat perished in the fire another cat is unaccounted for.

Aside from the two apartments gutted by the fire several other units have been declared unsafe to return to either from smoke and heat damage or from a lack of utilities.

Investigators say the fire started in the patio of the downstairs unit and is considered to be suspicious in nature.


“We’re using the help of Santa Barbara County, Guadalupe, and San Luis County Fire,” said Santa Maria Fire Chief Jeff Jones.

Firefighters evacuated twelve units. The flames quickly spread to the second floor and ignited a tree in the front yard–melting insulation on a nearby power line, turning the situation from bad to worse.

“That’s 440 volt powerline down on the ground that’s live, so we made sure we kept the public out and made sure the firefighters were aware of the hazard,” Jones said.

“It started to get scary when the glass, the windows shattered and the tree became engulfed,” said Michelle Robinson, who watched the scene unfold.

Robinson and some nursing students at Hancock College drove by, saw the fire and stopped to help.

“We all decided that we need to be there just in case somebody needed CPR, because we’re all first aid and CPR certified being in the program,” Robinson said.

Comments - Add Yours

  • Brian Smith

    the two guys with the extinguishers are priceless. do all AMR units park right in front of the fire building, are they taught that in their training??

  • Rockey B

    Ditto Brian.

  • Anacostia County

    The extinguishers were just as hilarious/pathetic as the curb squirting first due engine company.

  • Steve

    With the exceptionn of the AMR unit, I thought it was a good video. It was a quick, common sense, “curbside” knockdown. I thought they did a great job. It’s exactly how the department I work for would have operated……

  • Mike

    Here’s a novel idea, learn from the sofa store fire, and stop using booster lines as your first and primary attack line…come on people, bring the right equipment to the fire, 1.5″ or bigger….

    • Wayne B

      @ Mike- I 100% agree Mike WTF.
      Leave the 1 1/2 Booster on the engine. This isnt a trash fire.

      @ Steve – Look closer looks like a reel to me? Yes a 1 3/4 was pulled but if you look closer so was the Booster.

  • Steve

    Looks like a standard 1 3/4 line to me…..perhaps you haven’t used one before. Booster lines don’t come out of a hose bed like that, and they are normally red. Anyone who has actually been to a fire before can tell that’s not a booster line………I’m just sayin.

  • Fire 21

    I love the woman in the pink PJ’s with the cell phone pointing to the fire scene as the 1st engine arrives and lays out. “Look that apartment is on fire!” NO S..T!!

  • Hawkeye Pierce

    I have no qualms with the “curb side knockdown.” If manpower is limited, it can buy you a little time to get a crew together to make a proper interior attack. However, this one seemed to go a little long. If you hang out in the front yard with the nozzle too long, the fire will extend horizontally to other apartments. Get in there and put it out.

  • Anonymous

    I think Mike is right! There is definately a red rubber snake deployed from over the pump panel. I can’t tell where it went but it is visible in the video. I am OK with the quick knock down from the street but then go in and get it!

  • RESCUE 1

    I agree with Hawkeye to an extent. If manpower an issue , call in mutual aid, call them quick and often…..
    Also, what about a quick knockdown with the deck gun….and then advance a line in to assure all visible fire is out and to open up and check for verticle and horizontal spread of fire….
    Final thought, Back EAST, that’s an interior attack boys!!!
    Definately an 1 3/4 attack line with a back up.Horizontal ventilation opposite the attack line.

  • Anonymous

    why is everyone so damn concerned about the car? It’s perfectly fine where it is and aint’ worth a sh$t anyway. The last thing we need is everyone playing musical cars while the first due units are setting up on the block.

  • Inside the Beltway

    I’m speechless

  • Inside the Beltway

    Isn’t this what you signed up for? 2, or maybe 3 line (exposure line included) fire at the most. “Steve,” I’m not sure where you work but you’d get laughed off of the fireground around my way!

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  • Wads

    Hard to criticize from a tiny view video. Extinguisher guys are pretty funny as they back away. However, enough with the East coast/West coast crap…get over it.

  • Anonymous NOVA EngineDriver

    good advice WADS… the East vs. West mentality is why we no longer have Tupac and Biggie

  • Anonymous

    Wow what a bunch of arm chair quarterbacks commenting here. YOU werent there so stop judging!!!