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Arrest made in connection with Loma Fire in Santa Barbara

Loma Fire arrest.PNG
Posted at 12:14 PM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 15:14:56-04

An arrest has been made in connection with the Loma Fire that sparked in Santa Barbara Thursday night, damaging at least one home and threatening several others.

The fire was reported just before 9 p.m. in the area of Loma Alta Dr. and W. Canon Perdido St., also known as the TV Hill area.

The flames were burning along a hillside and close to several homes and other structures.

Hundreds of evacuations were ordered in the area, but were lifted around 12:30 a.m. Roads were also closed.

Santa Barbara police say around midnight, fire investigators noticed someone scrambling down the hill and hiding in brush between Loma Alta Drive and West Ortega Street.

The person was detained and police backup was requested.

Officers say Victor Hernandez, 23, from Santa Barbara was arrested in connection with the fire and is also a suspect in connection with other recent arson cases in the city.

They say he appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance at the time and faces other charges, including arson.

“Police Detectives and Fire Investigators interviewed Hernandez and established a timeline that put him at the scene of the Loma Fire. It was determined there were five separate fires in total last night. Fire Investigators believe the Loma Fire was an act of arson,” police said in a press release.

Hernandez is currently being held at Santa Barbara County Jail on $2 million bail.

The fire burned approximately seven acres and was 70 percent contained as of Friday morning.

Loma Alta Drive remains closed from West Canon Perdido Street to Coronel Street and may remain closed through Saturday.