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Goleta Man Arrested for Setting Fire to Residence

Sheriff’s deputies have arrested a Goleta man who they believe is responsible for a structure fire. On Tuesday, October 19, 2021, at approximately 4:38 am, deputies responded with Santa Barbara County Fire to the 100-block of Salisbury Avenue for a reported structure fire. Responding deputies were familiar with the address as they had been at the same location the evening prior for a report of a subject, 43-year-old Christopher Vance, who was exhibiting strange behavior. As a result of the prior contact, deputies were conducting follow-up including a request for a mental health evaluation.

As County Fire worked to knock down the structure fire, deputies learned that Vance had likely intentionally started the fire, discharged a firearm at some point, and fled the scene. A woman who was inside the residence was injured in the fire and transported by ambulance to an area hospital. All Goleta area units responded to the scene along with CHP and provided scene security for the firefighters while other deputies initiated a search for Vance.


Residents in the area called 911 to report several instances of Vance attempting to force his way into homes. A notification was sent to area residences requesting that they stay inside their homes while deputies searched the area. Vance was tracked to the 7700-block of Jenna Drive where he was taken into custody. Vance was transported to an area hospital where he is being treated for injuries he sustained prior to being taken into custody. We will share booking information for Vance when it becomes available. The woman who was injured is expected to recover.

Update October 19, 2021 3:24 p.m.:

The suspect who was arrested earlier this morning related to the structure fire in the 100-block of Salisbury Avenue has been booked at the Main Jail on two misdemeanor and four felony charges. 43-year-old Christopher Vance of Goleta has been booked for prowling (misdemeanor), resisting arrest (misdemeanor), vandalism (felony), burglary (felony), shooting at an inhabited dwelling (felony), and arson of an inhabited dwelling (felony). Due to the seriousness of the charges, deputies requested an enhanced bail, which was granted, and Vance is being held on $500,000 bail.

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