One Killed, One Injured in Lower Eastside Fire

Blaze Kept to Small Structure in Quarantina Street Storage Yard

Santa Barbara City Fire responds to a Quarantina Street storage yard fire (Nov. 17, 2011)
Paul Wellman

One person was killed and another injured in a fire that began around 8 p.m. on Thursday in a storage yard at 2 South Quarantina Street, between Kimball and Carpinteria streets.

According to Battalion Chief Pat McElroy, neither victim has been identified, and little is known about the incident at this point, including how the fire started. The burn victim was transported to Cottage Hospital in serious condition. McElroy said the deceased is an adult.

UPDATE: The injured victim has been identified as Justin Mezey, 62, of Santa Barbara. He is listed on some websites as president of Sea-Ventures Enterprise, which appears to be a fishing company. His condition, however, was not released. The deceased, who is a female, is not being named pending the notification of next-of-kin.

A police officer in the area made the initial emergency call when he saw flames and smoke coming from the fenced yard, which contains a dumpster, a trailer, a truck, and miscellaneous items. The fire was put out within the hour and limited to some sort of container or structure, McElroy said.

Due to the thick smoke and the Lower Eastside’s heavy industry — a MarBorg Industries natural gas filling station sits 50-100 feet from the site of the fire — five engines and a truck company were immediately dispatched when the first notification came in. It’s unclear right now who owns the property.

Fire and police investigators remain on the scene, and McElroy said more information will be released once it’s available.

[UPDATE, 10:35 p.m.]: City Fire has called in the District Attorney’s fire investigation unit to help process the area.

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