H-SANTA BARBARA

Jan 4, 2013 2:05 PM by Kelly Orsini, KSBY News

Police make arrest in downtown fire

Santa Barbara Police arrested a man suspected of causing a fire at a vacant building in the city's downtown area on Thursday.

According to police, someone saw Andrew Gordon Easton, 41, putting out a warming fire outside the building in the 500 block of Chapala Street earlier Thursday morning. Police say Easton is a transient who often camps out in the area. Officers made the arrest at about 12:30 p.m. Thursday, less than 30 minutes after the fire started.

Easton was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of unlawfully causing a structure fire without malice. Bail was set at $20,000.

Fire investigators believe the fire started on a roll-down door on the outside western edge of the building. They say the wood trim surrounding the door ignited and that the flames spread from there.

The building was most recently home to Montecito Motors. The fire caused an estimated $50,000 in damage.

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