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Santa Maria Police identify victim in deadly apartment fire

Santa Maria Police have identified the victim in a deadly fire Tuesday night that began with a CHP vehicle pursuit in the afternoon and ended with the two victims barricaded in an apartment on Sunrise Drive.

Santa Maria Police and Santa Maria Fire investigators spent Wednesday inside and outside the scene of the deadly fire in an upstairs apartment at the Mission Creek Village on Sunrise Drive in Santa Maria.

SMPD has identified the male victim in the fatal fire as 27-year-old Jovan Evan Davis of Santa Maria.

Neighbors say the unidentified woman with him at the time of the fire is his girlfriend who shared the apartment with her mother.

“We would always see them like every once in a while, we would see the guy coming through, I mean both of them actually, but not too often”, said neighbor Emmanuel Nieves who was forced to evacuate his apartment at the time of the fire, “we didn’t even know their names either, but we knew that they were around.”

“Pleasant, pleasant guy, spoke, smiled, just pleasantries but he was always very pleasant”, added neighbor Susan Buchanan about the fire victim.

The deadly apartment fire was the culmination of a sequence of events that began with a CHP vehicle pursuit Tuesday afternoon on Santa Maria Way and ended soon thereafter.

The CHP says a trace of the license plate of the suspect vehicle in the pursuit led law enforcement officers to the Mission Creek apartment complex.

Officers and family members attempted to enter the upstairs apartment but were met with a barricade at the front door.

Once they made entry, fire had spread through the apartment and the Santa Maria Fire Department responded to the scene.

Efforts to reach the two people inside the apartment failed because they had barricaded themselves inside a bathroom

Davis died at the scene, the unidentified woman with him was taken to Marian Regional Medical Center with critical injuries.

Santa Maria Police have launched an arson investigation and a death investigation in connection with the deadly apartment fire.

Property damage from the apartment fire is estimated at about $500,000.

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