Man burned in suspicious Santa Maria house fire

October 29, 2014

fire alarmA Santa Maria resident suffered serious burns during a house fire Tuesday night that investigators have deemed suspicious. [KEYT]

The fire broke out around 7 p.m. at a home in the 2400 block of North Bentley Avenue. It remains under investigation, and officials have not yet stated a suspected cause, but neighbors say the blaze began when they heard screams coming from one of the residents.

“The guy was doing something in his garage, and he lit himself on fire,” neighbor Raul Campos Sr. said. “He came out running on fire, and then the next thing you know the whole garage is on fire.”

When firefighters arrived, the blaze had fully engulfed the garage and spread into the interior of the home. Responders extinguished the fire without any other reported injuries, but the home suffered significant damage and the garage is destroyed.

Officials have not yet identified the man who was burned in the blaze. They say the victim is expected to be taken to a special burn center in the Los Angeles area.