SBPD Officers Rescue Man Trapped in Burning Home
On November 17, 2021, around 9:50am, the Santa Barbara Police Combined Communications Center received multiple reports of a residential structure fire in the area of 700 Spring Street.
At the time calls were coming into the dispatch center, a Santa Barbara Police Officer, Officer A. Gutierrez, was patrolling on Milpas Street and observed a large plume of black smoke about a block away. Officer Gutierrez was the first responder on scene and immediately radioed dispatch that the residential structure was fully engulfed in flames, and he could hear loud screaming coming from inside the home. A local business owner also arrived on scene and assisted Officer Gutierrez.
Moments later, Officers C. Ortega and D. Valerio arrived to assist Officer Gutierrez. All three officers could see the man trapped in the house through a window. Officer Gutierrez used his baton to break the window in order to reach the trapped man. There were numerous items of furniture in front of the window obstructing the man’s escape from the now fully engulfed structure. Officers Gutierrez and Valerio, as well as the local business owner, pulled the man out of the window and carried 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 in the 700 block of 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. One officer had to seek medical care. Santa Barbara City fire fighters were able to extinguish the flames and minimize further risk to the neighborhood.
Santa Barbara City Fire Department is the primary investigating agency for this incident.