Man arrested after pulling fire alarms at downtown businesses, library

San Luis Obispo firefighters and police were kept busy early Saturday afternoon responding to three false fire alarms downtown.

A San Luis Obispo man was arrested after triggering alarms at two businesses and the public library, San Luis Obispo police Sgt. Janice Goodwin said.

The first alarm went off shortly before 1 p.m. at Aaron Brothers Art & Framing on Higuera Street. Employee Deborah Hobbs said the man got in through a locked back door.

“Our break room is back there, so it was scary,” she said. “We don’t know how he was able to get in.”

Soon after, an alarm went off across the street at Novo restaurant, activating a sprinkler in a downstairs office and storage area, floor manager Jonathan Garcia said.

“Somehow he broke the filament on the sprinkler head. At least a couple of hundred gallons of water flooded the floor,” Garcia said. Employees quickly shut off the water and mopped up without disturbing diners.

When the alarm sounded at the San Luis Obispo City-County Library on Palm Street at about 1:23 p.m. about 70 people, including teens attending a special program, were in the building, regional library manager Kay Rader said. Everyone was evacuated for 45 minutes until the fire department reset the alarm.

John Bryan, 50, was detained at the library and taken into custody on suspicion of three misdemeanor counts of willfully sounding a false fire alarm, Goodwin said. Bryan admitted he caused all three false alarms, she said.