Firefighters responded Sunday to a residential structure fire on Las Alturas Road in the Riviera foothills above Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara city crews were dispatched at about 9:30 a.m. to the fire, which was burning in a three-level residence under construction, said fire Engineer Kevin Corbett.
Heavy flames were observed on the upper levels of the multi-story home, which sits at the top of the Riviera, near Camino Alto.
When the first units arrived on scene, morning fog made it difficult to locate exactly where the fire was, according to Battaltion Chief Chris Mailes.
Due to the intensity of the flames and partially built nature of the home, firefighters did not initially enter the dwelling, but instead made a “defensive attack” from the exterior, Corbett said.
The fire, which caused major damage to the structure, was declared under control at 10:20 a.m., Mailes said.
One firefighters was treated at the scene for heat exhaustion, but returned to duty, Corbett said.
No one was believed to be home at the time of the fire, and firefighters conducted a search of the building — which has two floor and a basement — but found no one inside.
Two investigators were dispatched to the scene to search for the cause of the blaze, which remained under investigation.
The structure had been framed and wrapped in paper on the outside, but there was no stucco or drywall inside, Mailes said, adding that that contributed to the rapid spread of flames.
The initial dispatch placed the fire near the intersection of Las Alturas Road and Las Alturas Circle, but it ended up being down the road near Camino Alto, Mailes said.
Santa Barbara County and Montecito firefighters were assisting on the incident.
— Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.
(Peter Hartman / Noozhawk video)