SBCC student, boyfriend save victim from downed power line

From+left%2C+Shaun+Siemer%2C+31%2C+and+City+College+student+Amanda+Schneiderman+after+rescuing+man+from+fire+around+midnight%2C+Tuesday%2C+Sept.+5%2C+2017%2C+near+Guadalajara+market+in+Santa+Barbara%2C+Calif.+The+couple+live+across+the+street+from+where+the+tree+fell+and+had+also+rescued+a+couple+and+their+dog+when+part+of+the+tree+collapsed+during+the+short-lived+tropical+storm.

GERARDO ZAVALA

From left, Shaun Siemer, 31, and City College student Amanda Schneiderman after rescuing man from fire around midnight, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, near Guadalajara market in Santa Barbara, Calif. The couple live across the street from where the tree fell and had also rescued a couple and their dog when part of the tree collapsed during the short-lived tropical storm.

GERARDO ZAVALA, Photo Editor

City College Student Amanda Schneiderman, 21, and her boyfriend Shaun Siemer, 31, saved a man after he had been struck by a downed power line early Tuesday morning, Sept.5, in downtown Santa Barbara.

A tree fell on the power line which then landed on the unidentified man. A transformer had also caught fire after the power line broke and led to the displacement of several families living in a nearby apartment complex.

Collapsed tree that caused a transformer to blow out, one injury and displaced an entire apartment complex early Tuesday morning, Sept. 5, 2017 in Santa Barbara, Calif. The incident caused a power outage that affected Santa Barbara City College and nearby neighborhoods
GERARDO ZAVALA
Collapsed tree that caused a transformer to blow out, one injury and displaced an entire apartment complex early Tuesday morning, Sept. 5, 2017 in Santa Barbara, Calif. The incident caused a power outage that affected Santa Barbara City College and nearby neighborhoods

The tree initially began to fall during the brief yet destructive microburst that hit Santa Barbara Sunday afternoon, trapping a couple and their dog in their car. It broke the power line when it completely gave out the following night. When the tree fell in entirety, the power line burned a passerby and caused a neighborhood-wide power outage.

Schneiderman and Siemer saved the couple and their dog after the microburst, and managed to pull the man away from the downed power line patting out the fire that had started on him after the tree fully collapsed the next night.

“She started dragging him out and I grabbed his other hand and dragged him out,” Siemer said. “By the time we got him to the other driveway, his right side was on fire and she was checking for his pulse, and then all the emergency showed up and they took over the situation.”

The man was unresponsive by the time they left him and they had only seen him moving in the driveway where they found him on, Siemer said.

“If anything else he was either coming out of his house or trying to get away or through it. Yesterday it was the same tree that fell on a car right here and I pulled out a couple and their dog. This tree should’ve been gone,” said Siemer

Uzziel Davila, a bystander who works on removing trees, explained how exhausting the work is and that the crew that had been working on removing the tree earlier had probably gone home for the night.

“They were probably tired you know it was labor day and everything, they probably wanted to go home or something,” Davila said. “They left the brush on the side. It was probably a third of that tree, and then this comes down right now like half of it.”

Several families living in the apartment complex the tree was located in were displaced by the incident. Fire Department Battalion Chief Jim McCoy notified the families that the building was deemed unsafe and that they would have to find another place to stay for the night.

Fire Department Battalion Chief Jim McCoy, center, telling all the displaced families they will need to find a place to stay for the night early Tuesday morning, Sept. 5, 2017, in Santa Barbara, Calif. McCoy informed them that if they had nowhere to stay they would call Red Cross and find a place for them.
GERARDO ZAVALA
Fire Department Battalion Chief Jim McCoy, center, telling all the displaced families they will need to find a place to stay for the night early Tuesday morning, Sept. 5, 2017, in Santa Barbara, Calif. McCoy informed them that if they had nowhere to stay they would call Red Cross and find a place for them.

“If it was me, I would plan on finding somewhere else to finish off the night,” McCoy said. “If you have friends and family, that would work.”

The Fire Department called Red Cross to accommodate the families if they didn’t have a place to stay the night.

“Typically when we call Red Cross it’s one family,” McCoy said. “What do we got, 10 to 15 families here, so a lot of folks.”

McCoy said they would send in a Firefighter to get any clothes or medicine the families needed from their apartments.

Electrician crews were active on the scene cutting down compromised power lines and were able to restore power within hours.


This story has been updated.