Pixel Tracker

Sunday, November 18 , 2018, 8:21 pm | Fair with Haze 56º

 
 
 
 

Investigators Can’t Pinpoint Cause of Fire That Destroyed Montecito Cottage

But they believe the April 7 blaze was accidental and may have been caused by an electrical problem

Investigators can’t tell for certain what caused a fast-moving fire that destroyed a Montecito cottage earlier this month, but believe it was accidental and most likely stemmed from an electrical malfunction, according to the Montecito Fire Protection District.

Flames quickly consumed the small residence on the 400 block of Cota Lane, one of several on the property, the night of April 7, and a nearby cottage also was damaged.

Two residents of the home escaped without injury. No damage estimate was provided.

The fire started in a bathroom in the northeast corner of the small structure, according to Montecito Fire Marshall Al Gregson, the lead investigator on the incident.

The residents described using a “daisy chain” of multiple extension cords, a space heater, lamps and other electrical devices in that area, Gregson said, any of which could have sparked the fire. But he said firefighters probing the ruins couldn’t pinpoint the cause.

“We are done (with the investigation) at this point,” Gregson said. “We gave it our best shot,”

Flames spread quickly, Gregson said, due to the age and construction of the 600-square-foot structure — built in the 1920s, redwood single-wall construction, open-beam ceilings and shake shingle roof. Flames also were fueled by a 20-year accumulation of belongings, Gregson said.

The residents made a brief attempt to douse the flames themselves before exiting the structure and calling 9-1-1, Gregson said.

Firefighters arrived shortly after 9 p.m., and found the single-story home engulfed in flames, according to fire district spokeswoman Geri Ventura.

Downed power lines, caused by the fire, hampered the initial response, Gregson said, but crews were able to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby homes.

Gregson described the residents, who were not identified, as being “very distraught.” They were assisted after the fire by the American Red Cross.

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.

A fast-moving structure fire destroyed a home in the 400 block of Cota Lane in Montecito on Saturday night. There were no injuries reported in the blaze. The cause is under investigation. (Bill Macfadyen / Noozhawk video via iPhone)

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >