A homeless man has pleaded guilty to starting a fire near a vacant downtown Santa Barbara building earlier this year and will be sentenced to one year in the Santa Barbara County Jail, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
On Jan. 3, a two-alarm blaze was reported at 530 Chapala St. in a building that formerly housed Montecito Motors. Firefighters arrived to find flames shooting through the roof of the building, but they contained the fire and no injuries were reported.
Andrew Gordon Easton, 41, was arrested of suspicion of starting a small fire in the area earlier that morning to keep warm, according to Sgt. Riley Harwood of the Santa Barbara Police Department. Easton was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail, where he has been serving time since then.
Easton appeared in court earlier this week and entered a guilty plea for unlawfully causing a structure fire, according to Deputy District Attorney Mary Barron.
She said Easton is scheduled to be sentenced June 27, but because non-violent offenders are serving half-time in the county jail, he will have served most of his sentence.
“He’ll be released more than likely at that point,” Barron said.