At 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 9, Santa Barbara City Fire responded to a structure fire in the Los Encinos apartment complex at the corner of the 2600 block of State Street and El Vedado Lane. There were no injuries, and firefighters contained the blaze within a single downstairs unit. Santa Barbara Police Sergeant John Ingram confirmed that a resident in the burning unit who obstructed police officers responding to the incident was eventually tasered and taken into custody.
Ingram said the fire was “going good” by the time police arrived: “It was blowing out the front and the back door, and had been going for some time.” He added that in his 30 years on the force he’d never been to that street before.
A resident of an adjacent upstairs unit reported that while his apartment still smelled of smoke, power and water had been restored, and people were being encouraged to return to their homes. A statement from Santa Barbara Fire Engineer/PIO Rich Griguoli issued late Saturday morning said “Fire investigation preliminary results determined that the fire started in the master bedroom of unit #27. The cause is accidental in nature, most likely smoking related. Three other units received varying degrees of damage as a result including smoke and heat damage. Preliminary loss is estimated at $700,000 for the structure and $100,000 for contents.”