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Tuesday, November 20 , 2018, 12:02 am | Fair 52º


Residents Displaced, Structure Destroyed After Fire at De la Vina Apartment Complex

There were no injuries, damage was estimated at $800,000, and an area of origin but not a cause is identified as the investigation continues

A large apartment building at 1419 De la Vina St. sustained major damage after a three-alarm structure fire broke out early Friday.

Units from the Santa Barbara City Fire Department as well as engines from Santa Barbara County Fire and the Montecito Fire Protection District were called to the scene about 2:50 a.m. Friday.

Crews found heavy smoke and fire consuming a row building, which contained five apartments. Residents were alerted by smoke detectors and evacuated, and the building was quickly engulfed in flames.

Santa Barbara City Fire Capt. Gary Pitney said the building was one of three structures on the property, and that the main structure is the historic “Flying A” Boarding House, a Victorian-style structure housing 16 apartments. The two adjacent buildings, which suffered moderate damage from the flames and heat, were also evacuated.

There were no reports of injuries, but Pitney said 25 residents will be displaced for two days. Seven residents of the “Flying A” property lost their homes, with the structure a complete loss. Three vehicles also were destroyed.

Investigators identified an area of origin but couldn’t determine a cause. The investigation is ongoing.

The loss to structures and contents was estimated at $800,000.

The American Red Cross-Santa Barbara County Chapter assisted the displaced residents and will provide temporary housing as needed.

“During incidents like this, our volunteers will provide anything from a hug and a hot cup of coffee, to temporary housing and clothing,” Marion Cozort, the Red Cross Disaster Action Team lead for this incident, said in a news release. “We work with those affected to make sure they feel safe and secure, and will continue to work with those who have lost their home to make sure they have a recovery plan in place.”

Southern California Edison and Gas Co. representatives were called to the scene to secure utilities to the involved structures. Santa Barbara police and the city’s Public Works Department assisted with traffic control.

In total, 40 fire personnel were on the scene, including several fire investigators and four chief officers.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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