Saddleback College student dies after arson fire

Saddleback College’s veterans memorial

Jeff Severns Guntzel/Public Insight Network

Saddleback College’s veterans memorial, dedicated in April 2010. It is located just outside the school’s administration building, in the heart of campus. An arson fire at a building on campus on July 8 led to the death of a student.

Authorities in Orange County are trying to determine whether a student who suffered fatal injuries during a fire at Saddleback College was responsible for starting it.

The fire scorched a lecture hall early Monday morning.

As firefighters battled the flames, they found a 21-year old male student unconscious on the floor. Orange County Fire Authority spokesman Jon Muir said they tried to save him.

"He was unconscious with burns all over his body. They rapidly treated him and transferred him to Mission Hospital. He was not breathing nor did he have a heart rate. And they revived him and he was air lifted from Mission Hospital to West Med Santa Ana, the Grossman burn center where later he died from his injuries," Muir said.

Muir said investigators have ruled the fire as arson. It caused $400,000 worth of damage.

The identity of the student has not yet been released.

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