Firefighters are currently aggressively attacking the flames and smoke at the former home of Montecito Motors.

Paul Wellman

Firefighters are currently aggressively attacking the flames and smoke at the former home of Montecito Motors.

Montecito Motors Burning

Firefighters Currently Aggressively Attacking Flames, Smoke

Originally published 12:35 p.m., January 3, 2013
Updated 12:50 p.m., January 3, 2013
Article Tools
Print friendly
E-mail story
Tip Us Off
iPod friendly
Share Article

The former home of Montecito Motors, at 530 Chapala Street, is currently on fire.

The Santa Barbara Fire Department is on scene, currently cutting holes in the roof and breaking down windows and doors to allow for ventilation.

At least five engines are on scene as firefighters aggressively attack the fire. Flames can be seen coming from the roof, and the smoke is getting thicker and blacker.

The building has been vacant since the 2010 close of Montecito Motors, an upscale car dealership. The owners, father-son duo Chet and Adam Taylor, pleaded no contest to 46 felony charges of conspiracy, grand theft, and tax evasion and were both sentenced to prison terms.

By Paul Wellman

Structure fire at 530 Chapala Street (January 3, 2012)

UPDATE: Indy reporter Tyler Hayden, on-scene, spoke with interim Fire Chief Pat McElroy, who said it is unclear what started the fire. The smoke levels are down, and firefighters are beginning to mop up. McElroy said units were on-scene within one minute of being called, and got a great jump on the fire. There is pretty significant fire damage to one wing of the building, with smoke damage to the rest. The fire was contained just to this building.

Hayden also spoke to the owner of the building, Steve Dal Pozzo, whose family has owned the building since the 1940s. Prior to Montecito Motors, the building was a tire shop. They had a few temporary office renters in the building for awhile, but most recently it’s been empty. He had been working with the city to try to secure permits to renovate. Dal Pozzo said it didn’t appear to be forced entry, and that he was told by a firefighter it was too smoky to tell how bad the damage was.

No one was inside at the time the fire started.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

That building has multiple great potentials, here's hoping they rescue and renovate.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 3, 2013 at 12:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Why would they want to ventilate the fire, doesn't that just feed it more oxygen?

Those guys sounded super shady, I imagine they will be investigating insurance fraud next.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
January 3, 2013 at 2:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

We definitely need to proscribe firefighting techniques here at anonymous Indy commenting.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
January 3, 2013 at 2:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

My post was meant to be conspiratorial in nature - you know, maybe those douchebags paid off the fire department to ensure all of the incriminating paperwork being stored in there ends up burning and any evidence of arson gets destroyed to make sure they get their insurance payout. Not that I have any evidence of that, I doubt the fire department would be complicit in this type of activity I just want to make sure all avenues are explored because I seem to remember these guys screwed over a bunch of anonymous folks.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
January 3, 2013 at 3:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

A simple Goole search can answer most questions.

deniseL (anonymous profile)
January 3, 2013 at 5:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think all MM paperwork was long gone as there had been a few subsequent tenants not involved in that case. I'd be surprised if any fraud is involved.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 3, 2013 at 5:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Allow me to clarify things for "loon" ...the owners of montecito motors(the Closed business,not the building) have been convicted some time ago,and are in prison for 11 and 13 years for selling many cars that did not belong to them, forgery and tax fraud. all evidence having been removed by SBPD detectives long ago from this,one of 3 spaces that they rented(the others being 430 Rose avenue and a storage building in Goleta.).
The owner,(of the Building) Steve Dal Pozzo is not affiliated with MMotors, and his family has owned this beautiful,historic building since the 1940s

GluteousMaximus (anonymous profile)
January 3, 2013 at 6:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Firefighters ventilate the roof of burning buildings so as to allow the smoke and hot gases to escape. This ventilation makes it possible for other firefighters to enter the building with hoses, locate and extinguish the fire. This is Basic Firefighting 101.

LegendaryYeti (anonymous profile)
January 3, 2013 at 6:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm "so old", I remember my family buying retreaded bias ply tires in the '60's and ' 70's when it was a tire store. When tires lasted 8,000 to 10,000 miles (if a crazy teenager wasn't always trying to 'light 'em up' cruising State St.). Thankfully, radials have replaced bias plys.

If not arson, I would bet faulty wiring from an earlier renovation or a fire started by a homeless person trying to stay warm. But I hate armchair quarterbacking, even my own. ;-)

passagerider (anonymous profile)
January 4, 2013 at 2:07 a.m. (Suggest removal)

If there wasn't any armchair quarterbacking going on in the comment section of the Indy, then you may as well delete the comment section.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
January 4, 2013 at 9:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

More of a raptor pit than a comments section lately.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 4, 2013 at 9:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I see from Tuesday's paper that I guessed correctly that a homeless person started the fire! Wish my lotto guesses were that good!

As for equating the comment section to a raptor pit, perhaps we should just strive to be better than Congress for a month! Lets focus our narly SB vibes into positive energy!

passagerider (anonymous profile)
January 4, 2013 at 3:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

event calendar sponsored by: