Monday, September 28, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 30

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on May 12th, 2015, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 16, Issue 10 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 16, Issue 10

Santa Maria man arrested on suspicion of hotel arson


A Santa Maria man is suspected of starting a fire inside of his room following a small blaze that broke out in a residential hotel on May 6, Santa Maria police said.

According to a press release issued by the Santa Maria Fire Department, several fire agencies responded to the fire and quickly snuffed the blaze at the Mission Hotel on 300 Main Street shortly after 8 p.m.

The Santa Maria Police Department arrested 62-year-old Jack McDonald on suspicion of arson following a fire that broke out at the Mission Hotel at 300 W. Main Street on the night of May 6.

Crews from Cal Fire in San Luis Obispo and the Santa Barbara County Fire Department assisted the city fire department in putting out the fire. No one was seriously injured, according to the SMPD, however one of the responding officers suffered minor smoke inhalation and was later released from the hospital.

The room’s occupant, 62-year-old Jack McDonald, also suffered minor injuries and was released from the hospital. Soon after, police arrested him on suspicion of aggravated arson.

Santa Maria Fire Battalion Chief Mike Barneich told the Sun the fire is still under investigation and couldn’t comment on how the blaze was started.

Marissa Robinson, the hotel’s assistant manager, said McDonald allegedly lit something on fire inside of his room and two hours before the fire, he’d allegedly broken a window to his room. Robinson speculated that she thought McDonald was most likely trying to commit suicide.

Robinson said she and all of the residents were forced to evacuate the building until the fire was out. The city’s fire department determined that the building was partially inhabitable. The Red Cross assisted residents after they moved back in, Robinson said.

Damage to the hotel is estimated at $10,000 with a $2,000 loss in contents, according to the fire department.

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