Santa Maria hotel fire investigated as arson

October 13, 2013

fireAn early morning fire at a residential hotel in Santa Maria on Saturday may have been started by an arsonist.

Seven of the 170 people who live at the Town Center Inn were taken to Marian Regional Medical Center for smoke inhalation and minor injuries. During the fire, people attempting to escape the flames and smoke were hanging out windows.

The blaze, suspected of being fueled by accelerant, has left dozens of people homeless. Residents believe the fire was set by a disgruntled tenant, but police have not yet arrested a suspect. [KCOY]

Investigators have estimated damages to be over $1.4 million.