H-SAN LUIS OBISPO

Mar 9, 2013 5:17 PM by Lindsay MacLeod, KSBY News

Fire Officials investigating cause of Stenner Glen fire

The San Luis Obispo City Fire Department is investigating the cause of a fire in the Stenner Glen Student Housing Apartment Complex.

It happened just after 11 a.m. Saturday. Officials say they heard reports of a fire on the third floor of the complex. They arrived at the scene four minutes later and saw smoke and flames from a well involved fire.

Officials say no civilians were injured in the fire. "It appears that the apartment of origin may have been vacant at the time that the fire started. Fire investigators are here to determine the cause and origin of the fire," said Garret Olson, Deputy Chief of the San Luis Obispo City Fire Department.

According to Olson, one fire fighter was taken to a local hospital with non life threatening injuries. "One of our captains was injured while fire fighting the blaze. Pieces of ceiling came down upon him while he was fighting the fire of origin. He's been taken to a local hospital where he seems to be doing well and resting comfortably," said Olson.

Olson says their extensive training and high tech fire equipment helped contain the fire to one apartment, possibly saving up to 20 other apartments. "One of the things that allowed us to get in front of the fire and keep it from spreading to other apartments was getting that big ladder in place. Our firefighters went onto the roof, cut a hole, and all of the heat and gases came out of the apartment vertically instead of horizontally and spreading to other apartments," said Olson.

Two residents say they noticed something was wrong when they smelled smoke and heard alarms going off.

"We were in the room together just watching a video on the computer and then we heard this bell go off. We're like, that's not part of the video. We turned it off, looked out the window and there's just smoke and flames coming right next to us," said Chris Brenchley, a Stenner Glen resident.

"We just told our roommate, hey get everyone and start knocking on the doors and just get out of here," said Sam Stephens, one of Brenchley's roommates.

A separate fire happened in the same complex over winter break, but officials say the fires don't appear to be related.

Olson says the fire department is meeting with property management and the residents who lost their home to find out if they can be re-located. He says they'll work with American Red Cross to make sure everyone gets the help they need.

San Luis Obispo Police assisted in evacuating the building.

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