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Two ‘Suspicious’ Fires Under Investigation in Santa Barbara

Blazes on city's Eastside broke out in early morning hours on New Year's Day

Firefighters douse a fire that broke out early Friday in two palm trees on Santa Barbara’s Eastside. The fire, and another reported 30 minutes later, are considered ‘suspicious.’
Firefighters douse a fire that broke out early Friday in two palm trees on Santa Barbara’s Eastside. The fire, and another reported 30 minutes later, are considered ‘suspicious.’ (Urban Hikers / Noozhawk photo)

Santa Barbara firefighters responded to two “suspicious” vegetation fires that broke out early on New Year’s Day on the city’s Eastside.

The first blaze, involving two palm trees, was reported shortly before 3 a.m. on the 800 block of East Haley Street, according to Ryan DeGuilio, an investigator with the Santa Barbara City Fire Department.

One of the trees was engulfed in flames, which damaged a vehicle parked nearby on Haley Street, DeGuilio said.

The second blaze, involving some low-lying vegetation and shrubs on private property, was reported about 30 minutes later near the corner of Garden and Figueroa streets, just a few doors from the Santa Barbara police station, he said.

“These are definitely suspicious fires,” DeGuilio said. “They were fairly close to each other, and could possibly be related…

“I have nothing solid or concrete to say they are, but given the circumstances — time of day, relatively close to each other — it’s probable they are related.”

In both cases, police officers arrived on scene very quickly, but no witnesses were located, he said, adding that the investigation was continuing.

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.

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