Saturday’s apartment fire on Rivera Lane in Atascadero started on the balcony of one of the units, investigators have concluded.
Some residents on Saturday told The Tribune that they heard a boom just before the blaze began. But a six-member investigator team is still working to determine the cause. The team, made up of firefighters from throughout San Luis Obispo County, is expected to pinpoint a cause in the next couple of days, officials from the Atascadero Fire Department said Monday.
Investigators have also determined that the two-story Bordeaux House Apartments complex wasn't equipped with fire sprinklers.
The fire began about 1 p.m. Saturday, according to the Atascadero Fire Department. It took crews an hour to get it fully under control.
Upon arrival Saturday, emergency responders were met with heavy fire and smoke pouring from four units of the complex with flames burning through the roof of the upstairs' apartments. The fire was also spreading quickly to two adjacent apartment units, officials said.
Atascadero fire Chief Kurt Stone said Saturday that eight units were affected: Four were destroyed, two damaged and two saved.
More than 20 people were displaced from their homes and were referred to the American Red Cross’ Central Coast region for help.
The incident, which involved eight emergency response agencies from the area, resulted in no major injuries although officials reported that one person cut his finger, another had shortness of breath and a third individual, who experienced chest pain when he returned to find his apartment in flames, was taken to the hospital.