UPDATE (5:31 p.m.) – The masonry downtown building in Santa Maria was so damaged in Thursday morning’s fire that it will be braced for safety.
The city says the walls of the building will be braced and the sidewalk nearby, as well as one northbound lane of Broadway, are closed.
Security guards were brought to the facility on Thursday, and city officials say the area will be fenced off.
The fire started around 6 a.m. in the 15,000+ square-foot building in the 700 block of South Broadway, which houses Shaw’s Famous Steakhouse & Tavern and Sergio’s Furniture and Mattress.
Sergio’s Furniture is a total loss, and Shaw’s was badly damaged.
Nearby businesses, including the Santa Maria Inn, say this is a sad loss for the business community.
“It’s definitely scary when the fire is so close to our business. We’re grateful the fire didn’t spread any further than it did, and we’re sad for the loss that Shaw’s and Sergio’s Furniture are experiencing at this time,” said Ryan Swack, General Manager of the Santa Maria Inn.
The owner of Sergio’s tells KSBY he is sad for his customers, including several who had new furniture that just came into the store and was supposed to be delivered to homes Thursday.
The Santa Maria and Santa Barbara County Fire Departments, CAL FIRE, and Five Cities Fire Authority all responded.
Firefighters say it was a dangerous situation.
“Crews were experiencing high heat, there were reports of a partial collapse, upon hearing that information, crews were asked to pull out, and they went into defensive operation, and so after that, they went to protect Shaw’s restaurant,” said Santa Maria Fire Department Chief Leonard Champion.
It took more than six hours to contain the fire.
Firefighters say there were mattresses on fire in the alley behind the businesses when they arrived on the scene, but the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
No injuries were reported.
UPDATE (12:55 p.m.) – The Santa Maria Fire Department reports that Broadway is now open in both directions.
Fire investigators are on scene, looking into the cause of the fire at Sergio’s Furniture.
No injuries were reported related to the fire.
UPDATE (11:15 a.m.) – Broadway remains closed between Morrison and Cook Streets, and Jones Street is closed between Broadway and South McClelland.
City officials say Broadway may reopen in a couple of hours.
UPDATE (10:30 a.m.) – Streets are still blocked off following an early morning fire in Santa Maria.
The fire broke out around 6 a.m. at Sergio’s Furniture.
Drivers are being asked to avoid the area as firefighters respond. Streets are still blocked off between Morrison and Cook.
If you're heading down S. Broadway in Santa Maria, give yourself some extra time – streets are blocked off between Morrison and Cook as firefighters work to put out this fire at Sergio's @KSBY pic.twitter.com/lZvrAAFtld
— Melissa Newman (@melnewmantv) January 3, 2019
UPDATE (8:00 a.m) – The Santa Maria Fire Department responded to structure fire at Sergio’s Furniture in Santa Maria Thursday morning.
Public Information Officer for the City of Santa Maria Matt van de Kamp says the fire began around 6 a.m. at Sergio’s Furniture and Mattress at 708 South Broadway in Santa Maria.
Officials say the furniture store is adjacent to Shaw’s Steakhouse, however, it is unknown if the fire reached the restaurant.
Drivers are being asked to avoid Broadway from Morrison to Broadway as emergency vehicles are actively on the scene.
ORIGINAL STORY (7:15 a.m.) – Santa Maria Firefighters are responding to a structure fire in Santa Maria on South Broadway.
Fire officials say the fire is on the 700 block of South Broadway Road.
Reports of the fire came in at around 6 a.m. Thursday.
Fire officials are asking people to avoid the area.
Officials have not confirmed the exact location of the fire.
Working fire 700 block S Broadway. Please avoid the area. pic.twitter.com/lp6ljUGKfM
— Santa Maria Fire (@SMFDHQ) January 3, 2019
This is a developing story and will be updated when new information becomes available.