Tuesday, December 1 , 2015, 3:15 am | Fair 41º

Fire Damages Units at Santa Maria Retirement Community

By Lara Cooper, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @laraanncooper |

A fire which caused major damage Tuesday to an apartment at a Santa Maria retirement community may have been intentionally set, and fire and police personnel are questioning a suspect in the case.

At about 6:15 a.m., firefighters and police were dispatched to the Laz-E-Days Retirement Community, 1318 N. Broadway, according to the Santa Maria Fire Department.

Four engine companies, a battalion chief and a truck company along with multiple police units and AMR responded to the scene, where they found one unit engulfed in flames, with moderate smoke coming from adjoining units and the attic.

Police officers attempting evacuation of those units were pushed back due to smoke conditions, officials said, and fire crews conducted an aggressive interior attack on the flames, along with a vertical ventilation of the building.

Although the unit where the fire began sustained extensive damage, the adjoining units had only light smoke damage and there were no reported injuries.

Later Tuesday morning, personnel gathered information indicating that the fire may have been intentionally set, and a female suspect was located in the 200 block of Cook St. 

She was taken into custody for further questioning by Santa Maria Police and Fire Investigators.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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