Just days before Cal Poly is set to begin fall classes, four college students are forced to find new housing because of a fire.
San Luis Obispo police are calling it an act of arson.
"Our officers are trained to look for anything suspicious and also looking at the area where it looked like the fire might have started," said SLOPD Capt. Brian Amoroso.
All four students and their cats were able to safely make it out of their home on Buchon Street when the fire broke out late Tuesday night.
“All of our furniture isn't really usable anymore. All of our clothes smell like smoke and fire," said Ashley Rosewiese, one of the students displaced by the fire.
The San Luis Obispo Police Detective Bureau is conducting a follow-up investigation as the initial investigation determined the fire to be a deliberate act of arson.
“That's like extremely scary to me. We don’t go out much and we don’t know who would ever do this to us," Rosewiese said.
According to the SLO City Fire Department, the fire started on the outside of the house, then spread inside and into the attic.
“SLO feels like a very safe community so for something this big to happen to us four girls who don’t know what’s going on is definitely a big safety concern," Rosewiese said.
“Our investigators will certainly be looking at other suspicious fires we’ve had in the area and somewhat near time frames. Those need to be looked at individually and decide if any of those have additional information that might link it to this fire. It is unknown at this time if any of them are connected," Capt. Amoroso explained.
Rosewiese said she and her roommates are now looking for a new house.
They’ve created a GoFundMe in hopes of getting financial help to get back on their feet.
The investigation is ongoing and SLOPD said at this point they do not know if this is an isolated incident. The department is asking for residents in the area who have exterior surveillance cameras to contact Det. Koznek at (805) 594-8005.