Fire investigators are looking into a Thursday blaze that burned some electronic waste behind the Central Coast Exploration Station in Grover Beach.
The fire started at 10:54 a.m. at 867 Ramona Ave., fire officials said, and was knocked down by 11:12 a.m.
Investigators on Thursday started sifting through debris looking for a cause, but it appeared to have started where a pile of computers and televisions had been stored outside the building, waiting to be picked up to be recycled, officials said.
The fire then spread up an adjacent wall and damaged part of a fence and nearby structure, said Battalion Chief Riki Heath of the Five Cities Fire Authority.
Officials said the structure is believed to be a residence connected to the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church at 845 Ramona Ave.
Heath said firefighters prevented the flames from spreading to the attic, and that is it likely still habitable.
No one was in either building when the fire started, nor was anyone injured. A damage estimate was not yet available.
Deborah Love, the nonprofit’s executive director, said the electronics were “things that had been tested and deemed unusable.” The pile was mainly shells of computers and televisions, she said.
The Exploration Station offers science exhibits, interactive displays and weekly activities for families. The volunteer-based organization also offers adult computer classes and refurbishes donated computers for children.
Love said the fire caused some minor damage, including water damage, to a bathroom at the rear of the Exploration Station. It’s unknown how soon it will reopen.
— Cynthia Lambert Templeton
A Templeton man was found dead in his pool on Wednesday afternoon, the county Sheriff’s Department announced Thursday.
Derek Brook, 67, was found floating face down in the pool at his home by a friend who then summoned for help, according to authorities.
Deputies and paramedics attempted CPR, but Brook was declared dead shortly after arriving at Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton.
There are no signs that the death is suspicious, deputies said. An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.
— Tonya Strickland
A preliminary hearing scheduled in the criminal case against former Arroyo Grande City Councilman Ed Arnold this week was postponed until Tuesday.
Arnold, 45, has pleaded not guilty to charges relating to his alleged attack of a woman who had been living with him and his wife at their home, including assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence.
He also pleaded not guilty April 14 to two additional felony charges of possessing child pornography and using a minor for pornographic images.
Arnold is expected to waive his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday, which would mean his case would proceed to trial, according to prosecutors.
— Nick Wilson