The sudden fire that fatally burned a costumed man — his body in flames in the middle of West Hollywood’s famed Halloween festival — was accidentally caused by a cigarette lighter, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department detectives announced this week.
Gilbert Estrada, 51, was at West Hollywood’s annual Halloween Carnaval on Oct. 31 when his costume quickly caught fire.
The man was standing near the the intersection of Santa Monica and San Vicente boulevards shortly before 10:30 p.m. when he attempted to light a cigarette, and in doing so, mistakenly lit his costume on fire, the sheriff’s department said Thursday evening.
Estrada was dressed in a camouflage sniper costume, apparently made of burlap sacks and straw, which proved to be highly flammable, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Estrada was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he succumbed to his burns and was pronounced dead the next day, said the victim’s brother, Juan Estrada, in a statement on a fundraising page for the victim’s funeral.
An autopsy of Estrada was conducted earlier this month, but its findings were delayed as the coroner’s office awaited further toxicology results.