Red Bluff PD: Nothing to indicate wheelchair fire death was a homicide

Feb 12, 2014 1:06 PM

Investigators with the Red Bluff Police Department stated today there is nothing to indicate the death of 65-year-old Gary Parish was a homicide at this time. Parish was found on fire in his wheelchair on Phibrook Avenue in Red Bluff February 4.

Sgt. Kevin Busekist of the Red Bluff Police Department stated today this assertion was partly based on surveillance video obtained from a camera at the Tehama County Fire Department roughly one block from where Parish was found on fire. Although the video is grainy and of poor quality, Busekist said the video does show Parish was by himself at the time the fire started.

The initial investigation indicated the fire may have been caused by a lit cigarette.

A citizen found Parish on fire just after 5 p.m. on February 4. He was rushed by ambulance to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Parish did not have an oxygen tank with his wheelchair.

Busekist further stated today the investigation into Parish’s death remains ongoing. The clothes Parish was wearing the day of his death have been sent to the Department of Justice to test for traces of accelerants and the department is also awaiting toxicology results from the Sheriff-Coroner’s Office.

An autopsy was not scheduled because officials had already determined the cause of death, Busekist said.


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