A woman was found dead in the rubble of a fire at an industrial storage unit on Santa Barbara’s Lower Eastside on Thursday night, and police and fire officials are investigating the circumstances of the blaze and the death.
One man, 62-year-old Justin Mezey of Santa Barbara, was injured in the fire, which was discovered at 2 S. Quarantina St. by police patrolling the neighborhood around 8 p.m. Thursday.
According to police Lt. James Pfleging, officers were in the vicinity of Calle Cesar Chavez and Yanonali Street when they observed smoke and flames erupting from a storage area on Quarantina Street near Carpinteria Street. Pfleging said officers found Mezey at the scene. He was conscious but had serious burns.
He was transported by paramedics to the Cottage Trauma Center, then later to a burn center in the Los Angeles area. His condition was not known Friday evening.
Pfleging said firefighters quickly brought the blaze under control and discovered the body during a subsequent search of the fire scene. As a result, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Fire Investigation Task Force and police detectives were called in.
The dead woman’s identity has not been released but the Sheriff’s Department’s Coroner’s Office will determine the cause of death. She was found in a makeshift living area within the storage yard.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.