The self storage world brings out a lot of crazy stories of tenants taking up residence in their units. As the winter months creep in, some more permanent tenants have caused issues by using units for unintended purposes.
News came Friday that a man who was living in his Marysville, California storage unit accidentally started a fire. He was briefly trapped inside, but was able to escape. The fire, which began at 1 a.m., spread to five other units. A commenter on one story suggested the fire might’ve been started by a hotplate, but Marysville fire chief Mike Carr said the man may have been running a “heater or propane unit” to stay warm. Yikes.
Then on Saturday, in a completely different part of the country, came a similar story. A storage unit fire in Lakeland, Florida damaged 11 units. It was also “accidentally ignited by a tenant,” according to the manager of the unit. He didn’t mention whether the tenant was also residing in the space. The fire is under investigation by the Florida Fire Marshal. Thanks to a quick-moving manager, most of the tenants’ belongings were unharmed.
Finally, there are a couple of doozies from California. A fire in Santa Barbara resulted in the death of a woman who was living in a “makeshift living area” in the storage facility. A man was also seriously injured. Another story came out of Clearlake, Calif., where a storage unit was found filled with explosive materials, including C4, a plastics explosive that can do some serious damage. The former owner of the unit was arrested and the explosives moved to a safe location for detonation.
Moral of the story here: don’t live in your storage unit if you can help it. Even if you’re not taking up residence, be sure not to lock yourself in your own storage unit, like this woman did last year.