Two popular Santa Maria businesses were badly damaged in an early morning fire that spread quickly and took several hours to put out.
The fire was reported just before 6 a.m. Thursday morning, and burned for hours after engines arrived on scene.
The owner and managers of Santa Maria’s popular Shaw’s Steakhouse were there to survey the significant damage left by the fire. Firefighters were able to save some of the restaurants, but most of it has been lost.
Sergio’s Furniture and Mattress Store which is adjacent to the restaurant was considered a total loss, the fire gutted the entire interior of the building.
“The initial effort of fire attack, crews were experiencing high heat, there was a report of a partial collapse, crews were asked to pull out and they went into a defensive situation,” said Santa Maria Fire Chief Leonard Champion.
The fire sent a thick black plume of smoke across the city as ladder trucks poured an endless stream of water onto the fire trying to snuff out the flames. South Broadway and surrounding streets were shut down as firefighters battled the stubborn blaze.
It’s believed the fire started in the alley behind the furniture and mattress shop and spread quickly to the building. Investigators spent most of the day in the area where they believe the fire originated.
There are no estimates yet as too exactly how much damage and loss of property there is.
No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.