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