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1 hospitalized, 1 arrested following fire at homeless camp in San Luis Obispo

Posted at 12:01 PM, Sep 10, 2020

UPDATE (9:05 p.m.) - The San Luis Obispo Police Department responded to multiple reports of a man bleeding in the area of the Bob Jones Trail near Prado Road on Thursday, at the same time a fire was reported in the area.

Officers say they found Mato Hayes with multiple wounds.

Police say Hayes had apparently been in an argument with another man, Jordan Smith, and lit Smith's tent on fire. Both men are reportedly transients.

Investigators say Smith then struck Hayes with a machete, causing lacerations to Hayes' arm and nearly severing several fingers.

Police say they searched the area and following a "lengthy foot pursuit," Smith was arrested and booked into the San Luis Obispo County Jail and held without bail on a charge of attempted murder, a misdemeanor warrant and a felony warrant.

This is an active investigation.

Anyone with any information is encouraged to call San Luis Obispo Police Investigator Chris Chitty at 805-594-8003 and reference SLOPD case #200910035. Anonymous information can be called into Crime Stoppers at (805) 549-STOP.

ORIGINAL STORY: Firefighters say one person was taken to the hospital following a fire that broke out off South Higuera Street in San Luis Obispo Thursday.

It was reported at about 11:45 a.m. in the 3900 block of S. Higuera, near the Tank Farm Road intersection.

San Luis Obispo City Fire officials say the 15x15-foot fire started in a homeless encampment and spread to nearby vegetation.

The fire was contained a short time later.

The exact cause remains under investigation.

Fire officials say one person was hospitalized but not for burn injuries. The extent of their injuries or what caused them was not immediately known.