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Monday, December 17 , 2018, 3:26 am | Mostly Cloudy 56º


Suspect Pleads Not Guilty to Arson, Attempted Murder

The man accused of starting a fire at Santa Maria’s Town Center Hotel earlier this year pleaded not guilty Friday to arson and attempted-murder charges.

Amos Lee Andrews, 57, of Santa Maria has been charged with attempted murder, arson of an inhabited structure with use of accelerant, residential burglary and two additional counts of arson for setting fire in two separate dumpsters in a nearby area, Deputy District Attorney Brandon Jebens said.

Several people were injured in the fire, which was reported at the residential hotel at 215 N. Broadway shortly before 2:30 a.m. Oct. 12.

First responders made dramatic rescues to help people escape the flames and heavy smoke.

Some had to escape by ladders from the second floor and were hanging out the windows to escape the heavy smoke conditions inside, according to the Santa Maria Fire Department.

Seven people were taken to the hospital, and dozens of residents were displaced by the fire.

Jebens said some of the people living in the two-story portion of the building, which wasn’t as badly damaged, have moved back in.

Andrews was arraigned Friday in Santa Maria Superior Court and entered not-guilty pleas, Jebens said.

He remains in custody at the Santa Barbara County Jail, and is due back in court Jan. 13.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli 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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