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Man arrested on suspicion of setting a Goleta house on fire

goleta fire.PNG
Posted at 12:34 PM, Oct 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-20 00:46:52-04

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Deputies arrested a man Tuesday morning on suspicion of setting a house on fire in Goleta.

The incident happened at around 4:38 a.m. on the 100-block of Salisbury Avenue.

Deputies who responded say they were familiar with the address as they had been at the same location earlier that evening for a report of a subject who was exhibiting strange behavior.

Deputies contacted 43-year-old Christopher Vance when they arrived on scene and as a result of this prior contact, deputies were conducting a follow-up including a request for a mental health evaluation.

Deputies say while firefighters were working to knock down the fire they learned Vance had likely started the fire intentionally, had discharged a firearm and fled the scene.

All Goleta area units responded to the scene and provided security for the firefighters while deputies initiated a search for Vance.

Deputies say neighbors in the area called 911 to report several instances of Vance attempting to force his way into homes. A shelter-in-place was given out to nearby residents.

Deputies say Vance was tracked to the 7700-block of Jenna Drive where he was taken into custody. He was transported to an area hospital and is being treated for injuries.

When firefighters arrived they say a woman was inside the home and suffered injuries in the fire. She was transported by ambulance to an area hospital and is expected to be okay.

Vance has been booked for misdemeanor charges: prowling and resisting arrest along with felony charges: vandalism, burglary, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, and arson of an inhabited dwelling. Vance is being held on $500,000 bail.