Atascadero apartment fire started by BBQ displaces 19 residents

Posted at 2:20 PM, Jun 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-24 17:20:54-04

More than a dozen residents of an Atascadero apartment complex were still displaced Sunday after a fire ripped through a unit Saturday afternoon.

The fire broke out around 3:45 p.m. at the two-story apartment on the intersection of Las Lomas Avenue and El Bordo Avenue.

No one was injured, but the flames blackened the corner unit. The fire was put out by 4:15 p.m., according to fire officials.

A tenant said the fire started when a propane tank ignited while a neighbor in the apartment was barbecuing.

The Atascadero Fire Department said the propane tank ignition is a likely cause, but the fire remains under investigation.

A man in a neighboring complex said he looked on horrified as the flames spread to a tree outside his window. The man said fire crews stopped the fire from spreading to his complex just in time.

About 19 residents living in the 6-unit building were not able to return Sunday. 

One man living in the apartment said most of the tenants were staying at a nearby motel, uncertain of when they might be able to return.

Red tags warning residents not to enter the uninhabitable building were placed on the doors.

Fire officials said not all of the units were damaged by smoke or flames, but the fire blew out the electricity to the units.

About $200,000 worth of damage was done to the building, according to fire officials, and about $50,000 worth of damage was done to residents’ belongings.