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Fire at Ty Warner’s Home Causes $5 Million In Damages

Blaze originated from bedroom fireplace at oceanfront estate. Billionaire not home at the time.

A fire destroyed two rooms at the home of billionaire Beanie Babies mogul Ty Warner early Thursday, causing an estimated $5 million in damages, authorities said.

The blaze, which took 35 firefighters 10 hours to fully extinguish, originated in a bedroom fireplace of the 18,000-square-foot home at 1001 Fairway Road, overlooking the ocean near the Santa Barbara Cemetery, said Jackie Jenkins, spokeswoman for the Montecito Fire Protection District.

The fireplace had been left burning even though nobody but a security guard was home at the time of the fire, she said. The security guard called 9-1-1, and is not believed responsible for the fire, she added.

“I don’t know exactly why the fire was happening, but it was not security,” she said.

The official cause of the fire was said to be an overheated fireplace chase.

Firefighters responded to the blaze around 1 a.m. Thursday. The fire was contained at 4 a.m. and reported out at 5:20 p.m., officials said. Sprinklers in the home had been activated by the fire.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries, one from Montecito and one from Santa Barbara, which dispatched 14 firefighters to the scene, said Santa Barbara fire Battalion Chief John Ahlman.

The Santa Barbara firefighter received several stitches in an elbow after falling down a staircase, Ahlman said.

Jenkins said she was not authorized to disclose the nature of the Montecito firefighter’s injuries.

Other agencies on the scene were the Santa Barbara County Fire Department and the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire District.

At the other end of the South Coast, meanwhile, county firefighters extinguished a blaze at a single-family home at 1900 Refugio Road, four miles up Refugio Canyon from Highway 101. The lone occupant of the house safely escaped the fire that was reported at 8:13 a.m.

Access to the structure was difficult because of the unimproved driveway in from Refugio Road. Firefighters had to extend fire hose several hundred feet by hand, dragging hose across Refugio Creek in the process.

There was no functioning smoke alarm in the house. Investigators blamed the fire on an improper installation of a potbelly wood-burning stove, which had ignited a nearby wall.

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