Juvenile Arrested for Arson After Church Fire

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Juvenile Arrested for Arson After Church Fire
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(Photos: Keith Cullom / SBC)

Update by Santa Barbara County Fire Department
May 27, 2020
 

On Tuesday, May 26, 2020 Santa Barbara County Fire Department Fire Investigators and Sheriff’s Department Detectives identified and apprehended a male juvenile suspected of starting multiple fires in the area of North Turnpike Road and Vala Drive.

On Monday, May 25, at 11:41 PM Firefighters responded to a structure fire that caused major damage to the Growing Babies Preschool and Infant Center and the Church of Religious Science located on the 400 block of North Turnpike Road. Fire Investigators determined the fire was intentionally started inside the preschool. Between midnight and 3:30 AM, firefighters and Fire Investigators responded to two additional intentionally set fires on Vala Drive that destroyed several garbage cans and a portable toilet.

Santa Barbara County Fire Investigators conducted the fire investigation with assistance from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and Carpinteria/Summerland Fire Department Fire Investigators.


Goleta Church Catches Fire Monday Evening

By edhat staff
May 25, 2020
 

Santa Barbara County firefighters responded to a large structure fire inside a Goleta church late Monday evening.

At 11:41 p.m., fire crews arrived at 487 N. Turnpike in the unincorporated area of the Goleta Valley and found "Center of the Heart," a large single-story church, with heavy smoke and fire.

Crews upgraded their response to a second alarm fire that included assistance from Santa Barbara City Fire Department. Eight engines, one truck, one Battalion Chief, and two ambulances arrived on the scene.

An immediate and aggressive attack on the fire was initiated while crews performed a primary and secondary search and ventilated the structure. After an hour the fire was completely knocked down and the aggressive attack saved a large part of the church.

A section of Turnpike Road was closed during the fire response. There were no reported injuries and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

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sbsunny May 28, 2020 08:51 AM
Juvenile Arrested for Arson After Church Fire

My daughter attended Growing Babies Preschool. It’s a cute inside and outside area and the staff put a lot of effort into it. I’m sad that it was destroyed and sad for the owner, teachers and children.

ZeroHawk May 28, 2020 07:59 AM
Juvenile Arrested for Arson After Church Fire

its an odd ball 'church'...my wife ran the preschool attached to it for over a decade...that is the part of this that is truly sad. the 'church' is hardly a church and doesn't do 'services'. the preschool operates daily and employs many people, all now without jobs. Also the 40 or so kids and parents are affected. Very sad.

a-1590676492 May 28, 2020 07:34 AM
Juvenile Arrested for Arson After Church Fire

WHATEVER THE CASE - the individual risked the lives and futures of a whole neighborhood. I am sorry, but that counts a lot more than one kid. some people can be helped - some people cannot. I am sorry to see young people slip through the cracks - but I am MUCH MORE SORRY to see hundreds of lifelong hardworking people to be trashed because of the actions of one individual. get a grip !

a-1590689586 May 28, 2020 11:13 AM
Juvenile Arrested for Arson After Church Fire

Agree but you need to realize some people cannot "get a grip" and mental illness rears it's ugly head early in life, when a child cannot control their impulses nor understand them. I hope this child is able to get the help they deserve before they hurt someone. Starting fires is a very, very bad sign for this child's future, immediate intervention is likely their only hope.

giftedinSB May 27, 2020 08:54 PM
Juvenile Arrested for Arson After Church Fire

You're absolutely right, and a lot of times these serious behavioral issues do stem from parental abuse or neglect. That's why I said I hope the child gets the needed help and intervention.

giftedinSB May 27, 2020 08:04 PM
Juvenile Arrested for Arson After Church Fire

Really sad that this was an act of arson, and especially the act of a juvenile. Maybe it was nothing more than a horrible prank, but childhood fire-setting is a textbook sign of oppositional defiant disorder, a precursor to sociopathy. Whatever the case, this kid has some serious behavioral issues and I hope he or she faces the consequences and gets the help they need.

Eggs Ackley May 29, 2020 11:02 AM
Juvenile Arrested for Arson After Church Fire

Wow!!! Are you a psychic GIFTED IN SB? Nice diagnosis Dr. You’ve pegged this kid as a menace to society based on an internet news article, and some seriously warped stereotyping and preconception. Amazing how much prejudice a person will display in two sentences.

Luvaduck May 28, 2020 11:48 AM
Juvenile Arrested for Arson After Church Fire

At the time I wrote, nothing was known about arson. I asked a simple, civil question. ". . devoid of compassion for others that we can minimize their losses so cavalierly?" has absolutely nothing to do w/my question. If this is how you are going through life, it would behoove you to check into anger-management before you hurt your health.

oceandrew May 28, 2020 11:16 AM
Juvenile Arrested for Arson After Church Fire

What risk are you talking about DUCK? Destruction of property is okay so long as your perception of risk doesn't figure into the equation? Are we so devoid of compassion for others that we can minimize their losses so cavalierly? Perhaps if it happened to YOU you'd feel differently.

Concerned4Calif May 27, 2020 06:59 AM
Juvenile Arrested for Arson After Church Fire

Maybe they can hold services outside for a few months while clean-up and repairs take place. Probably safer from the covid virus. I hope they had insurance coverage.

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