Investigators say overloaded electrical outlet caused fire at Pismo Beach building

A fire in Pismo Beach that damaged an 83-year-old building Monday evening started when too many electrical appliances were plugged into one outlet in a tattoo shop located on the second floor of the two-story building, Tina Rose of Cal Fire said Tuesday.

Rose said the building sustained $150,000 in structural damage and about $100,000 worth of contents was lost.

The fire, which started about 6 p.m. on Monday, had displaced residents of three of the building’s 11 apartments. They were able to stay elsewhere overnight with the assistance of the Red Cross.

Residents of the remaining apartments were able to stay in their homes on Monday night.

The investigation was completed Monday night, said Rose, a fire prevention officer with Cal Fire.

The electrical overload happened when larger appliances, including a photocopier, were plugged into one outlet at Manakin Tattoo at 649 Dolliver St., she said.

The Animal Kingdom Pet Shop, located on the first floor, had water damage. Other businesses on the building’s first floor include a dress shop, a restaurant, and Hot Shots Billiards.

The billiards room had a fire sprinkler system; the apartments and the tattoo shop did not, Rose said.

The working smoke detectors and fire alarm system notified residents and business employees to evacuate the building, she said.

Pismo resident Don Day has owned the 24,000-square-foot building since 1984. He said Monday that he had a new roof installed and the building retrofitted about a year ago.

-- Cynthia Lambert