Body of man found after smell of natural gas at residence

Body of man found after smell of natural gas at residence
The body of an unidentified man is found in an Encinitas home Friday morning. Fire crews received a call to the scene for a gas leak inside a structure with a possible victim. Photo by Tony Cagala

ENCINITAS — The body of Brent Kenneth French, 47, was found on the morning of May 22 at a residence on the 200 block of Florita Street.

Emergency response crews received a call at approximately 11:05 a.m. for a gas leak inside of a structure with a possible victim inside, according to Encinitas Fire Department Battalion Chief Jon Blumeyer.

Firefighters arrived at the scene and found a “very high level” reading of natural gas inside the structure. Breaking windows to the structure, emergency crews saw the body of a man lying on a couch and proceeded to initiate a rescue.

“When we pulled him out, unfortunately, the victim was deceased,” Blumeyer said. “We continued with securing the utilities, the gas and electric, and then ventilating out the gas in the structure so that it was no longer a hazard.”

No origin of the gas leak was determined as of yet.

Sgt. Minh Nguyen said the gas has been cleared and that residents nearby could return to their homes.

Neighbors at the scene said they had smelled a natural gas smell coming from the home for the past two days.

One neighbor described French as a “nice guy,” who was a freelance tattoo artist that lived alone. The neighbor said French had three children that would visit the home.

A personal friend, who said he and his daughter were going to get some tattoo work done that day, saw French through an unlocked window at about 10:40 a.m. He yelled to a neighbor to call 911.

According to the Medical Examiner’s office, the victim was married but separated. The cause of death and manner of the investigation is still pending.


This story has been updated since its original posting.


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