An arson fire set at a faculty housing construction site near UC Santa Barbara’s campus caused over $1 million in damage, authorities say. The UCSB Police Department received a 911 call at around 2:15 a.m. on January 29 and responded to the north campus site located on the corner of Phelps Road and Canon Green Road.
The fire was quickly extinguished but not before it caused significant damage to a camper-trailer, water-tender, earth-mover, and other heavy construction vehicles and equipment belonging to the project’s contractor. No one was injured.
Sgt. Robert Romero with UCSB PD said multiple incendiary devices were found by fire investigators. He declined to go into detail, citing the open case, and said personnel from a number of agencies – including UC Fire Marshals, County Fire Investigators, and Sheriff’s Detectives – are working together to determine if this weekend’s arson is connected to the two firebombing attacks on the Isla Vista Foot Patrol Station in recent months.
Authorities are working to identify suspects, and a $5,000 award has been offered to anyone who comes forward with information leading to the arrest of the person(s) responsible. Those with tips are asked to call Detective Mitch Molitor at (805) 893-3446 or (805) 319-0004.