Five injured in San Luis Obispo fire

March 4, 2012

Five college students in their 20s were injured in a fire that destroyed a house on the corner of Johnson Avenue and Buchon Street early Sunday morning.

One of the nine students living in the home jumped out of a second story window, onto a porch cover and then to the ground. She was uninjured in the fall.

Medical personnel transported five of the occupants to a local hospital mostly for smoke inhalation.

The fire, reported at 3:38 a.m., quickly burned through the older home devoid of fire breaks, said San Luis Obispo Fire Chief Charles Hines.

“It was a very challenging and labor intensive fire,” Hines said.

A total of five fire engines, one truck company and an air support unit from the San Luis Obispo Fire department and CalFire worked for about two and a half hours to extinguish the blaze. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.



  1. slodown says:

    I have driven by a few times and seen a girl smoking on the front sure it has something to do with an unlit ciggy left laying there…..

    (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  2. scottabeer says:

    Does anyone read the comments?
    1:It was also stated that one smoke detector was found to be disabled;
    2:While the home had a smoke detector, the fire investigator determined was not working, Slate said
    3:No smoke alarms, I take it? Some landlord is up for a lawsuit.
    4:The only reason I assumed there were no smoke alarms was because the two students who were interviewed did not mention alarms sounding at any time.

    Seriously? This is what we get for our education dollars?

    (-3) 9 Total Votes - 3 up - 6 down
  3. SLOly_decaying says:

    The hipsters living in this house got a dose of karma, a few weeks back they decided it would be funny to take a giant mirror out in the road and try to reflect sunlight into drivers’ eyes as they came down Buchon. The end result was a 60 year old man almost stomping their cross dressing little faces in. Solid entertainment. This house had too many fire alarms.

    (3) 23 Total Votes - 13 up - 10 down
    • lburgnon says:

      Wow quick to judge much! It doesn’t sound like any of you even know the people in this house. My little sister was living here and she was the one who had to jump out of a second story window and she was in the hospital with ten staples in her head. Another girl has been transported to the burn center in Fresno and is not out of the clear. I can’t believe people like you saying that this is their karma! No one should ever have to go through something like this. These kids are smart, they have graduated from SLO and have jobs in your community. And according to your screen name, SLOly_decaying it sounds like it is time for you to move! No one deserves to almost die in their sleep from smoke inhalation or being burned to death.

      (10) 16 Total Votes - 13 up - 3 down
    • blacklex11 says:

      You know what, there were peoples family in there, you think you are so tough sitting behind your
      computer screen. Why don’t you say that to their face! John 3:16 man! I will pray for you.

      (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
  4. bobfromsanluis says:

    The Tribune has updated their article, stating that the fire started in a couch out on the front porch (cigarette, maybe; the inspector could not determine how the couch was ignited). It was also stated that one smoke detector was found to be disabled; I was under the impression that in a rental unit is in our city code for rentals to have a smoke detector in each and every bedroom. It is looking like there is some equal blame here; too many people in the house (by code), not enough smoke detectors, and possibly a smoker left a lit cigarette on or near the couch out on the front porch (most likely not permitted to be there by code). It is a remarkable event that so many people were able to get out even though it seems like there were no alarms sounding. I have doubts that any of the renters had enough foresight to have paid for renters insurance; I hope anyone renting who doesn’t have insurance will learn from this event. Link here to the updated Tribune article.

    (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
    • Citizen says:

      It didn’t actually state that the fire alarm was disabled, unless the following is investigator “code” for “disabled”.

      ” While the home had a smoke detector, the fire investigator determined was not working, Slate said.

      He said renters will often remove smoke detectors from kitchen areas to keep them from being set off by cooking odors, but explained how that is risky”.

      (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
      • bobfromsanluis says:

        Perhaps I was a bit hasty in making the connection between “not working” and “disabled”; to say “not working” implies that the machine was not functional but does not indicate whether or not the machine was disabled, “disabled” means that the machine was either turned off, the battery removed, the detector taken down and left laying around, or even that it was possibly even smashed into a “not working” status. Anyone who has ever had a smoke detector start chirping because it needs to have the battery replaced can understand that it is possible that the battery was removed to silence the chirping with the intention of replacing the battery as soon as possible and then perhaps forgotten about. Locating a smoke detector in a kitchen is a very bad idea since the potential for false alarms is heightened due to normal cooking events, so it is usually a better idea to locate one in the room next to the kitchen, and as stated by another person in the comments, there is a code for rental units that requires one detector per bedroom, one in each hallway, and at least one per level of a multi-level structure, including one in a basement if the structure has one. It will be very interesting to read any reports that come out about this particular house to see if it was up to current code in relation to the number and locations of smoke detectors.

        (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  5. HarryMalone says:

    Is there an ordinance in SLO that limits or controls how many people can live in a residence?

    (11) 13 Total Votes - 12 up - 1 down
    • hijinks says:

      Yes, and this sounds like a violation. The city should take action.

      (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
  6. Slowerfaster says:

    They’re all very lucky. A 3AM fire often means people sleeping and breathing in toxic fumes.

    Good work SLO firemen !

    (26) 28 Total Votes - 27 up - 1 down
  7. RU4Real says:

    Perhaps the “students” disarmed the smoke detectors….Don’t be so quick to “blame” the owner of the property…

    (9) 15 Total Votes - 12 up - 3 down
    • MakersMark says:

      Don’t be so quick to jump to conclusions, “guy”.

      (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
  8. Citizen says:

    No smoke alarms, I take it? Some landlord is up for a lawsuit.

    (-19) 21 Total Votes - 1 up - 20 down
    • bobfromsanluis says:

      Since every person living there got out without injury, why would you assume that there were no smoke detectors (a requirement for properties being rented out) or conversely to RU4Real, why would anyone assume that they were disabled? How about letting the fire inspectors do their job and find the cause of the fire, and determine if the smoke detectors functioned as designed? I am very glad that they all got out, and am very grateful for our local firefighters doing the job they do. If the investigation shows that there were no detectors in place, then the landlord is in deep doo-doo; if there were detectors in place but were disabled, then the renters are in big trouble, but let’s see what is discovered first.

      (8) 16 Total Votes - 12 up - 4 down
      • Citizen says:

        The only reason I assumed there were no smoke alarms was because the two students who were interviewed did not mention alarms sounding at any time.

        (-1) 5 Total Votes - 2 up - 3 down
        • Slowerfaster says:

          So … in your reactionary mind: “Shoot first and ask questions later” ?

          Citizen? …What a handle. Why don’t you be honest , and call yourself “MOB RULE” ?

          (-6) 14 Total Votes - 4 up - 10 down

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