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Saturday, February 23 , 2019, 8:27 pm | Partly Cloudy 52º


Owner of Burned-Out Printing Business on De la Vina Vows to Carry On

Late-night weekend blaze, sparked by an electrical problem, caused an estimated $200,000 in damage to DCM Graphics

Francesca Rizzo took over her father’s printing and graphic-design business earlier this year, but nothing could have prepared her for what happened Saturday night.

When Rizzo picked up the phone at 11:45 p.m. Saturday, the Santa Barbara Fire Department told her there was a fire at her shop on De la Vina Street.

“I don’t know if you can see through the screen door, but everything is gone,” Rizzo said Monday.

An electrical fire sparked a blaze that charred DCM Graphics, 3016 De la Vina St., on Saturday night, authorities said.

Five engines, a ladder truck, one light and air unit, a battalion chief and an investigator responded to the fire at 11:15 p.m. and contained it to that store. No one was injured.

Adjacent stores, including David Roth Photography, sustained smoke damage.

“The Fire Department prevented the whole building from burning down,” Roth said. “They saved my birds and saved my place.”

Frank Rizzo ran the family-owned business for the past 15 years, and DCM Graphics was at De la Vina Street location for the past two. DCM provides full color printing and graphic design; the business was full of printers, copiers, paperwork and computers.

Fire authorities estimated the blaze caused $150,000 in property damage and $50,000 in losses for contents.

A burned door at DCM Graphics with a sign saying the business remains open despite a weekend fire.
A burned door at DCM Graphics with a sign saying the business remains open despite a weekend fire. (Alex Kacik / Noozhawk photo)

The Rizzos spent Easter Sunday in shock, Francesca Rizzo said.

“We were numb,” she said. “Sunday we kept to ourselves and figured out what we needed to do. Now, it has sunken in. It looks like a movie scene. We didn’t think it was happening, we didn’t think it was true.”

But the Rizzos haven’t stopped the business. They rerouted their phone system, they will temporarily hold conference meetings at Kevin O’Connor’s space at FindTheBest and they have started replacing lost work.

“Everyone says stuff is replaceable, but it takes a long time to build a business, to lose it all is kind of crazy,” Francesca Rizzo said. “Yes, what happened was tragic but we won’t let it affect the businesses — we are staying open.”

The Rizzos have been good neighbors, said Steven Padrick of Alamar Dental Studio.

“I hate to see a small business get hammered; we have enough going against us as it is,” he said. “They are a nice family owned business and it’s sad to see this happen.”

Francesca Rizzo said the city is lucky to have the Santa Barbara Fire Department.

“We will pick up the pieces and start back up,” she said.

Noozhawk business writer Alex Kacik 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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