Approximately 35 students were displaced following a city condemnation of the condominiums at Pine Creek for fire hazards on Tuesday.
According to San Luis Obispo Fire Marshal Rodger Maggio, the fire department’s prevention bureau received a tip last week from a female resident in the complex, claiming her clothes were getting hot in her closet.
The department inspected the condo, and discovered that the resident’s closet was a closet for a gas water heater and forced-air furnace, Maggio said. Upon further inspection, they also discovered the room’s sleeping area was a renovated loft with no escape window, only accessible by ladder. All of these pose a direct fire hazard, he said.
The department then inspected all of the units, Maggio said.
“We went out and knocked on doors,” he said. “Every single one had similar conditions.”
The inspection team also found several units in which the loft areas were accessible by stairway, though the stairs were built without the proper building permits being filed, he said. They also found units in which the water heaters were hidden with fabric.
After the inspection, the bureau and the city’s community development department issued a condemnation of the complex. This means all residents must evacuate the condos until the hazards are removed.
Shortly after the condemnation, the 35 students who were displaced were offered spaces in on-campus housing, Maggio said.
“We immediately contacted housing (at Cal Poly) and they stepped right up,” Maggio said. “The Dean of Students has also offered assistance.”
Despite the hazards, it is unclear who will have to pay for the cost of additional housing, Maggio said.
“Financial liability is between owners and the students who signed the lease,” he said.
Kaytlyn Leslie contributed to this staff report.