Deputies Arrest Arsonist in Carpinteria

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   March 1, 2022
A fire was reported on Saturday evening on northbound Highway 101 in Carpinteria. A suspect was arrested for arson on Monday afternoon. (Photo courtesy Montecito Fire)

Traffic was at a standstill this past weekend, with an underground fire causing the closure of the northbound freeway lanes near Via Real on Saturday evening. After an ongoing investigation of the fire, which was believed to be coming from a storm drain under the freeway, Sheriff’s deputies arrested a suspect they believe intentionally set fire to the culvert near the 5700-block of Via Real in Carpinteria.

On Monday, February 21, deputies were dispatched to investigate a subject digging into the hillside near a drainage culvert in Carpinteria Creek. Deputies contacted the suspect, 24-year-old Santiago Garcia-Soriano of Carpinteria. Garcia-Soriano spoke with deputies and a fire investigator from the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire District, and admitted he started a fire in the culvert on Saturday, February 19, 2022, about one hour before the fire was reported. Garcia-Soriano was arrested for arson to property (felony) and possession of cocaine (misdemeanor). Garcia-Soriano was booked at the Santa Barbara County Main Jail and is being held on an increased bail of $250,000.  


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