Capistrano Beach : Man Dies in Blaze in Backyard Work Shed

An Orange County man believed to be in his late teens died of smoke inhalation and third- and fourth-degree burns early Thursday as a fire destroyed a small plywood work shed in a Capistrano Beach backyard, authorities said.

Firefighters found the body, burned beyond recognition, after extinguishing the 2 a.m. blaze.

Spokesmen for the Orange County Fire andSheriff's departments said the causes of the fire and death have been classified as accidental. Neither agency would pinpoint the cause of the fire. Investigators late Thursday were comparing dental records provided by the family of a missing Orange County teen-ager, looking for a match. The process had not been completed as of late Thursday, a spokeswoman for the county coroner's office said.

She said an autopsy performed Thursday showed that the victim died of smoke inhalation and third- and fourth-degree burns and that the cause of the fire did not appear to be of a criminal nature.

Neither agency would say how the victim came to be in the shed, but the family living in the home was "not missing anybody," said Lt. Dick Olson of the Sheriff's Department.

The fire was reported by a neighbor, one of several residents awakened after flames spread from the shed to a nearby palm at the home in the 34700 block of Calle Loma, county fire spokesman Pat Antrim said.

Firefighters discovered the body as they checked for hot spots in the shed, Antrim said.

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