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California

Body found after firefighters douse blaze at Santa Ana homeless encampment

A man’s body was found at a burning homeless encampment in Santa Ana early Sunday morning, according to police and fire officials.  

The fire was reported beneath a bridge in the 2700 block of North Broadway at 5:48 a.m., according to Capt. Larry Kurtz of the Orange County Fire Authority.  

Firefighters and police arrived to find the encampment engulfed in flames. The man’s body was found after firefighters extinguished the blaze, Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said in a press release. 

Orange County deputy supervising coroner, Daniel Aikin, confirmed that a male victim was found underneath the North Broadway overpass, but said the victim’s identity remains unknown. 

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The Santa Ana Police Department is treating the case as a homicide until an autopsy is complete,  Bertagna said. 

The fire caused $5,000 in damage to the bridge, according to Kurtz. He added that experts were brought to the scene and determined that the bridge is still safe to drive on and another engineering specialist is set to inspect the area again.  

melissa.etehad@latimes.com 

Follow me on Twitter @melissaetehad

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