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Local News

Fire at Montecito Home Caused at Least $460,000 Damage

Investigators haven't found cause of the blaze on Barker Pass Road, but say it started in the kitchen area of attached studio apartment

A fire that scorched part of a residence on Barker Pass Road in Montecito caused at least $460,000 damage, the Montecito Fire Protection District reported Tuesday.

Crews were called out at about 9:40 p.m. Monday to the 500 block of Barker Pass, where they found a studio apartment attached to a residence engulfed in flames, according to fire Battalion Chief Chip Hickman.

The flames were knocked down in about 20 minutes, and no injuries were reported, Hickman said.

Investigators placed the structural damage to the apartment at $360,000, with another $100,000 in smoke damage to the adjacent residence, said fire district spokeswoman Geri Ventura. No estimate was provided for the contents of the structure that were damaged or destroyed.

Investigators spent most of the day Tuesday probing the fire scene, but had not determined a cause for the blaze as of late afternoon, Ventura said, adding that the fire’s origin was traced to the kitchen of the two-story, loft apartment, which was about 970 square feet total, Ventura said.

“All they determined for certain is the fire was not suspicious,” Ventura said.

No one was home when the fire broke out, and firefighters had to make forced entry into the structure, Hickman said. Two of the apartments three renters — a mother and her adult daughter — returned home Monday night to find smoke coming from the structure, Ventura said. When they opened the door and saw flames, the called 9-1-1 and reported the blaze.

No injuries were reported, and the residents were able to safely evacuate two dogs and a cat, Ventura said.

Montecito firefighters were assisted by crews from the City of Santa Barbara and the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District. Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies and CHP officers assisted with traffic control, said fire district spokeswoman Geri Ventura.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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