Three Santa Barbara Police officers and an area business owner rescued a man trapped in a burning home on the 700 block of Spring Street on Wednesday.
As calls began coming in for the fire, Santa Barbara Police Officer A. Gutierrez was patrolling on Milpas Street and observed a large plume of black smoke about a block away. Gutierrez became the first to respond to the scene and immediately reported that he could hear loud screaming coming from inside the home, now fully engulfed in flames. An area business owner also arrived on scene and assisted Officer Gutierrez.
Soon after, officers C. Ortega and D. Valerio arrived to assist Gutierrez. All three officers could see the man trapped in the house through a window. Gutierrez used his baton to break a window to reach the trapped man, and he and Valerio, as well as the local business owner, were able to pull the man out of the window and carry him to safety. Santa Barbara City Fire arrived on scene quickly after.
Due to the severity of the fire, officers immediately started evacuations on neighboring residences on Spring Street and several buildings located on North Milpas Street. The man in the house was transported to the hospital by paramedics and treated for minor injuries and smoke inhalation. The three officers sustained minor cuts and smoke inhalation, with one seeking medical care. Santa Barbara City firefighters were eventually able to extinguish the flames.
Santa Barbara City Fire Department is the primary investigating agency for this incident.