Man survives SLO condo fire

January 20, 2014

fireA San Luis Obispo condominium caught on fire early Monday morning, nearly killing a tenant. [KSBY]

San Luis Obispo firefighters responded to a fire at the Pine Creek condominium complex on Foothill Blvd. around 3:40 a.m. Monday. The firefighters rescued a resident who suffered from smoke inhalation.

San Luis Obispo Fire Department Acting Battalion Chief Mike King said sprinklers saved the life of the man.

“Without the sprinkler system, the fire could have gotten a lot bigger,” King said. “The victim was directly in the area of the fire, and he would have been overtaken by the fire. It would have been a fatality.”

Emergency personnel transported the man to the hospital.

Three other people were inside the apartment at the time of the fire. Each came away uninjured.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze around 4:00 a.m.

Last year, health and safety code violations displaced 40 college students living in the Pine Creek condominium complex.


Jorge Estrada

One case I know of was $75k for the complete build for sprinklers, 1% of that is $750 a year with an additional increase of as much as 2% per year. Fire sprinkler often require improvements to your water connection to meet the required flow rate. on and on and on,.


A commercial building I own caught fire. Luckily I was working late in another building and saw smoke coming from the building. I called the fire department, but our sprinkler system had already deployed. The fire was out by the time the fire department arrived. We did have water damage, but no lives were put in danger. I have them in my home you can not put a price on life.


I half-agree with you. I think multi-tenant buildings MUST have sprinklers/detectors/extinguishers/monitoring. Period.

I do not think private residences should, unless they are PUG housing that is often exempted from typical setbacks and other occupancy/fire-related things. If your house is over 10-15′ from your neighbor’s house, then no requirement.

Sprinklers are often more of a problem than a life-saver, which is why we’ll see this type of comment about the sprinkler more often than we’ll hear about broken pipes, failed systems, etc. that are also common.


This was supposed to be a reply to Jorge… :(

Jorge Estrada

I believe fire sprinklers are warranted over a commercial cook stove but I do not agree with manditory fire sprinklers for residential uses. The lives saved in homes because of fire sprinklers is insignificant when compaired to the lives lost through many other controllable aspects in life. The ongoing property taxes derived from fire sprinkler gov mandates is, in my opinion, the real reason for such requirements.


I realize that fire sprinkler systems are expensive but do they really add enough to property values to create a significant increase in property taxes? They do add to the cost of building but I am more inclined to think that this is just a typical case of a bureaucracy (fire dept.) which downplays such costs when calculating what safety benefits will come from extra regulations. By the way, what is a life worth? This was a case where the sprinklers most likely saved one.

I would agree that in owner-occupied dwellings, the choice/risk should be the owner’s.

However, in rental units — particularly in multiple-residency units — it seems that the risk would be proportionally higher. In some cases (including possibly this one), landlords will go the cheap route if they can do so legally without regard to tenant health and safety. I think that, while the regulatory cost may be high, it can be justified when some of those who profit from lower costs would be inclined to be negligent about maintenance and/or screening of tenants.