On Jan. 9, firefighters from the San Luis Obispo City Fire Department responded just before 9 p.m. to a fire at a three-story housing complex near Cal Poly the second fire there in as many nights. In both cases, more than 100 people were evacuated from 1050 Foothill Blvd. without injury or incident, according to officials at the complex, known as Stenner Glen. The first fire, which occurred close to 11 p.m. on Jan. 8, was contained to one room.
The housing complex's assistant manager, Sara Esfahani, reported that tenants alerted a resident assistant about the first fire after the blaze engulfed a bed and began spreading to the floor. The on-duty resident called fire officials and successfully evacuated the tenants before firefighters arrived.
Initial estimates by the SLO Fire Department placed property and structural damage at $20,000 from the first fire. The cause is still under investigation.
The second fire has been ruled accidental, apparently caused by a 350-watt halogen light left by construction workers. The blaze was contained within 15 minutes of firefighters' arrival, but inflicted an estimated $50,000 in damage to the structure.
Forty-eight students were displaced for the night of Jan. 9, and four residents living on the first-floor suite have been re-located to other Stenner Glen properties. Esfahani confirmed that legal action will be taken once the cause of the first fire is determined.
Fires in student housing are not extremely common, according to SLO Fire Captain Jeff Gater.
"They tend to get a lot of attention because of the risk they pose in a high-density living situation," Gater noted. "Until the last few days, [Stenner Glen] had what I would call a good safety record."