SLO County Roundup


A condemned and abandoned apartment building in Atascadero caught fire Thursday morning after a homeless person sleeping in a living room left a candle burning, authorities said.

No injuries were reported.

Fire engines from Atascadero, Cal Fire and Atascadero State Hospital arrived at 9550 El Camino Real at 5:27 a.m.

Upon arrival, crews found one side of a duplex on fire.

The fire had also spread into the adjacent apartment through the attic.

The blaze took 45 minutes to contain, authorities said, saying the attic fire was difficult to contain from the ground.

The fire took place in one of several duplexes that make up a complex of abandoned buildings behind the Tastee Freez restaurant and across from the Chevron gas station on East Front Road, Atascadero fire Capt. Bill White said.

He noted that the buildings are completely fenced off. The estimated value of damage wasn’t available on Friday.

— Tonya Strickland


A 15-year-old Atascadero girl suffered serious injuries Thursday night after being struck by a vehicle while she was crossing El Camino Real off El Bordo Avenue.

The teen, Victoria Harmon, who police say was in critical condition as of Friday, was “in or about to enter” a marked crosswalk at 10:20 p.m. when she was struck, police said.

Atascadero police and fire departments responded to a 911 call from the driver who stopped, police said.

The teenager was treated at Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton on Thursday night, police said, and she was later transferred to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo.

The Tribune is not naming the driver because the investigation into whether to charge him is ongoing. Police said that they don’t suspect alcohol was involved.

— Tonya Strickland

Paso Robles

Public pools are open for summertime swimming and lessons in Paso Robles.

Lap swimming is from noon to 1 p.m. only at the Municipal Pool. The pool, with deeper water for lap workouts and a diving area, is at 28th and Oak streets.

Centennial Pool, featuring a water slide, splash zone and baby pool, is at 600 Nickerson Drive.

Entrance fees to both pools are $3 per day, or 10-punch passes are available for $25. Season passes cost $106 for the first family member and $77 for each additional family member.

Reservations for parties may be made for either pool. Lesson registration is available at www.prcity.com/recreationonline, or at each pool. For information, call the recreation office at 237-3988.

— Tonya Strickland

SLO County

Union Bank of California Foundation has given $5,000 to the San Luis Obispo County Housing Trust Fund to help the fund provide financing and technical assistance for affordable housing throughout San Luis Obispo County.

It is the fifth time the bank foundation has given to the fund since 2005, raising its cumulative donations to $45,000.

The Housing Trust Fund, a nonprofit corporation, was created in 2003 to increase the supply of affordable housing throughout the county.

Rather than directly developing or owning housing, the fund provides financing and technical assistance to help private developers, nonprofit agencies and local governments produce and preserve housing that working families, seniors on fixed incomes and people with disabilities can afford to rent or buy.

Since making its first loan in 2005, the Housing Trust Fund has provided $4.25 million in financing to help create or preserve 180 units of affordable housing in San Luis Obispo County, according to Jerry Rioux, the organization’s executive director.

Approximately $1.3 million is available from the fund for new loans to finance projects.

— Bob Cuddy