Photo Story: Calif. Blaze Causes $10M Damage

Arson is the suspected cause of a three-alarm fire that destroyed a large portion of a construction site at the University of California, Santa Barbara in Goleta on July 4.

The fire was initially reported at about 3:30 a.m., exactly one week after a suspicious brush fire occurred on the same property.  

Arriving Santa Barbara County Fire crews found 60-foot flames erupting from the student/faculty housing project, as well as several other smaller fires occurring on the same property.

Given the size of the fires, a second alarm was almost immediately initiated. A third alarm was sounded and Santa Barbara City Fire responded with mutual aid.

The fires were brought under control within approximately one hour.

The fast-moving flames destroyed the framing of the apartment complex as well as three construction trailers and an unoccupied building. The building had once served as a golf cart shed and pro shop at the golf course, which formerly occupied the property.

Initial reports have estimated that the July 4  fires caused at least $10 million in damage. No injuries were reported.

Cal Fire is heading up the investigation, as the fire occurred on state-owned University of California property. A $10,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those involved.

First Alarm: Santa Barbara County Fire Engines 11, 17, 14, Truck 11, Rescue 17 BC 514; Second Alarm: Engines 12, 13, 15; Third Alarm: - Santa Barbara City Fire - Engines 1, 4, 5, Truck 1, BC 714