San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Frank Mecham was the first — albeit unsuccessful —responder to a carport fire in Paso Robles that spread to one apartment of a tri-plex before firefighters were able to contain it.
Mecham reported the fire at 328 15th St. to officials at 3:51 p.m., and the first firefighters arrived on the scene within minutes.
The 13 firefighters at the scene had the blaze under control by 4:23 p.m., according to a news release from the city of Paso Robles.
Around 3 p.m. Friday, Mecham was driving on 15th Street between Chestnut and Olive streets when he saw fire under a station wagon parked in a carport, he told The Tribune. He pulled over, grabbed a small fire extinguisher from his car and attempted to put out the fire, but the extinguisher ran out of retardant. He then checked the nearby apartment for people and helped a 91-year-old man leave the scene before the fire spread.
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“I couldn’t believe how quickly that place became engulfed,” Mecham said.
There were no injuries in the fire, though the man’s apartment had water and smoke damage, according to fire officials. The two adjoining units were not damaged.
The station wagon belonged to the elderly man, who told Mecham that he had not driven it all day.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.