Flames from a burning couch shot nearly 100 feet into the air early Sunday morning when a fire scorched a car and the side of an Isla Vista apartment building.
A police patrol spotted the flames around 3:40 a.m. at the Balboa apartment building, located at 6721 El Colegio Road. No one was injured, but firefighters estimate the blaze caused around $2,000 in damage to the apartment building and the car parked next to it.
Police were unable to locate any suspects involved in setting the fire.
Santa Barbara Fire Dept. Capt. Thadius King said firefighters responding to the call could see the flames as they left Station 11 on Storke Road.
“The flames shot above the roof about 30 feet,” King said. “That fire had all the potential in the world to burn that building to the ground.”
King said it took firefighters only a few minutes to put out the blaze, which was fueled by boxes and newspapers in an adjacent garbage can.
Craig Belon, a senior chemistry major at UCSB, snapped pictures of the blaze from his bedroom window, which faces the alley where the fire took place. Belon said he awoke to the sound of yelling, but initially dismissed the shouts as belonging to drunken partiers. He noticed the fire when the flashing emergency lights of a police car lit his room.
“I heard a cop car and I thought they were coming to tell [the partiers] to shut up,” Belon said. “I took a peek out of my window to see if they were going to get arrested and saw the building on fire.”
Belon said the first police unit on the scene evacuated the burning building and that the fire department arrived on the scene one or two minutes after he realized there was a fire.