The Cambrian

Structure fire in Cambria quickly contained could have been much worse, officials say

Debris on a property on the 2700 block section of Newton Drive in Cambria where a small out building caught fire July 2 that was quickly controlled by firefighters.
Debris on a property on the 2700 block section of Newton Drive in Cambria where a small out building caught fire July 2 that was quickly controlled by firefighters. Courtesy photo

Firefighters quickly dowsed a July 2 blaze that destroyed a 20-foot-square outbuilding on the 2700 block section of Cambria’s Newton Drive.

The fire was reported at 5:36 p.m., knocked down by 5:45 p.m. and fully contained soon thereafter, according to Fire Chief William Hollingsworth.

The outcome could have been much worse, he said.

The residential neighborhood of mostly older homes is packed with landscaping and trees in the town’s often densely-packed forest of rare native Monterey pines, oaks and other species. The fire chief said no cause for the fire has been determined yet, but he and other investigators feel there didn’t appear to be any evidence so far that the fire was started by arson or other illegal activity. The investigation is ongoing.

Hollingsworth said he has had previous contacts with the residents about improper use of a fire pit on the property. A man who owns properties nearby told The Cambrian on July 6 that he’d filed numerous complaints with county Code Enforcement Division about accumulated trash and other issues.

Brad Clark said he’s lodged complaints with officials several times, and still hasn’t seen much progress in cleaning up the site. However, The Cambrian wasn’t able to immediately confirm those claims, because chief code enforcement officer Art Trinidade and Justin Nelson, new commander of the Sheriff’s Office Coast Station in Los Osos, were both on vacation.

Tony Cipolla, Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said he couldn’t locate any reports or complaints filed with the office for that address. Calls to Code Enforcement weren’t immediately returned.

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