Pixel Tracker

Thursday, March 21 , 2019, 11:25 am | A Few Clouds 56º

 
 
 
 

Santa Barbara Police Identify Homeless Man Who Died in Culvert Fire

Candelario Martinez Ceja, 39, died of smoke inhalation, and also suffered serious burns in Dec. 5 blaze

Santa Barbara police have released the name of a homeless man who died in a Dec. 5 fire that broke out in a drainage culvert under Highway 101. Candelario Martinez Ceja, 39, died of smoke inhalation, police said. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara police have released the name of a homeless man who died in a Dec. 5 fire that broke out in a drainage culvert under Highway 101. Candelario Martinez Ceja, 39, died of smoke inhalation, police said. (Urban Hikers / Noozhawk photo)

Santa Barbara police have released the name of a homeless man who died earlier this month in a fire that broke out in a drainage culvert under Highway 101 on the city’s Lower Eastside.

Firefighters discovered the body of Candelario Martinez Ceja, 39, early on Dec. 5 after extinguishing the blaze near the freeway and Salinas Street, according to police Sgt. Riley Harwood.

Ceja died of smoke inhalation, and also suffered serious burns, Harwood said.

He added that Ceja was homeless in Santa Barbara at the time of his death, and previously lived in the Long Beach area.

"Our assumption is it was a warming fire or cooking fire that got out of hand, but that has not been established conclusively," Harwood said.

Firefighters were dispatched shortly after 2 a.m. on Dec. 5 after smoke was reported billowing from vents along the northbound freeway, about a quarter-mile west of the Salinas Street onramp.

The site is along a freeway sound wall about 200 yards east of Milpas Street.

Firefighters arrived to find smoke and flames coming from a 4-foot-high drainage pipe, authorities said.

Ceja's body was found about 100 feet inside the concrete culvert, which has a black PVC lining and serves a development on the north side of the freeway.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Firefighters discovered a body early Monday after dousing a fire in a drainage conduit under Highway 101 in Santa Barbara.

Crews were dispatched shortly after 2 a.m. to a report of smoke near the Salinas Street onramp to the northbound freeway, according to Engineer Kevin Corbett of the Santa Barbara City Fire Department dispatch.

They found smoke and flames coming from a 4-foot-high drainage pipe, according to Santa Barbara City Fire Department dispatch.

Personnel on scene told Noozhawk the body was found about 100 feet inside the pipe, which was has a black PVC lining and serves a development on the inland side of the freeway.

Details on the person found dead were not released.

Two northbound lanes of the freeway were shut down for several hours, Corbett said, and as of 7:45 a.m., only one remained closed.

Coroner’s personnel responded and recovered the remains, Corbett said.

The incident and death remained under investigation.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today!

Our professional journalists work tirelessly to report on local news so you can be more informed and engaged in your community. This quality, local reporting is free for you to read and share, but it's not free to produce.

You count on us to deliver timely, relevant local news, 24/7. Can we count on you to invest in our newsroom and help secure its future?

We provide special member benefits to show how much we appreciate your support.

Email
I would like give...
Great! You're joining as a Red-Tailed Hawk!
  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >