Authorities with the Los Angeles Fire Department on Wednesday night announced that a man who appears to be in his 70s died from accidental asphyxiation in his car in Venice.
Crews responded to calls of an unresponsive person in a vehicle at around 8:43 p.m. in the 600 block of East Venice Boulevard.
“Upon arrival, what is believed to be flammable substances (liquid? gas?) were observed in the vehicle. Therefore, the response has been upgraded to a hazardous materials incident,” LAFD said in a news release.
Aerial footage from Sky5 showed a large presence of first responders at the scene. Firefighters could be seen looking into a vehicle, and a large damp spot in the street was also visible.
After investigating the inside of the vehicle, firefighters discovered small, camping-style propane bottles in the car.
Officials said the man appeared to be homeless and was attempting to keep warm in the enclosed space with a propane-powered heat lamp, when he “sadly…succumbed to accidental asphyxiation” by leaking propane that displaced the oxygen in the vehicle.
There was no fire involved in the incident.