Firefighters Wednesday were trying to determine why a 67-year-old man who died a fiery death had refused to follow evacuation orders during the height of the massive blaze in Santa Clarita.
The coroner’s office has now identified the man whose burned body was found in a charred car in the driveway of a house in the burn area. He apparently made the fatal mistake of refusing to follow evacuation orders from firefighters.
The body of Robert Bresnick was discovered at 7:20 p.m. Saturday in the 26700 block of Iron Canyon Road, said coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter.
“Evidently, he did not want to evacuate,” Winter said. An autopsy was pending to determine the official cause of the man’s death, which was being classified as an accident.
However, authorities concluded from appearances at the scene that the flames had engulfed the victim as he sat in his vehicle. It was unknown if he had finally made the decision to flee, but if that was the case, it was obviously too late.
Winter said Bresnick, whose home town was not known, was visiting a friend at the location, and had been advised by authorities to leave. The friend left, but Bresnick did not, Winter said.
Officials have said Bresnick was not alone in disregarding evacuation orders, although he was the only one to die.
Numerous residents of the burn area had refused to follow evacuation orders and firefighters were forced to deal with them, delaying their ability to fight the blaze. Some structures may have been lost to the flames due to such delays.
–Staff and wire reports