A garage fire in the 200 block of West Taft Street in northwest Santa Maria on Tuesday night spread into the one-story home, causing significant damage, displacing the two residents and killing two small pets.
Firefighters began responding about 5:40 p.m. to the blaze and arrived to find the garage fully involved in fire, Battalion Chief Mike Barneich said.
“All occupants that were in the building — there were two adults — were outside prior to our arrival,” he said.
Two separate engine crews searched inside the building to make sure no one was left inside.
“Apparently somebody was working on a vehicle inside the (garage),” Barneich said. “Right now, our investigator is working on the cause.”
“At this point, it appears accidental,” he added.
Crews knocked down the fire in about 10 to 15 minutes, he estimated.
The fire gutted the garage and spread partially into the home, where the kitchen also was damaged. Firefighters also made a hole in the roof for ventilation due to smoke in the attic.
The garage door, crumpled by the flames, sat on the front lawn as firefighters completed their overhaul work.
One resident was treated at the scene by an AMR ambulance crew for a medical condition, according to Barneich.
Firefighters estimated the blaze caused $150,000 damage to the structure and $50,000 to the contents.
Red Cross was notified since the house wasn’t safe for the two residents to occupy overnight.