Victim of Monday’s BGS building fire identified

Michael Grennell

According to the Orange County Coroner’s online records, the Saddleback College student killed in Monday morning’s arson fire has been identified as 21-year-old Jacob Mathews of Lake Forest.

Mathews was the only casualty of the fire that struck the Business and General Studies building on Monday. After being transported to Mission Hospital, Mathews was airlifted to the Orange County Burn Center at Western Medical Center in Santa Ana. According to the coroner’s records, Mathews died from his injuries at 7:13 that evening.

Original reports identified Mathews only a 21-year-old male student at Saddleback. Later in the week, the college put out the information that Mathews had been a student for two years at Saddleback and was a student in the Social Psychology (PSYC 30) class that was set to begin in the classroom where the fire was located, 20 minutes after the first 911 call was made.

Saddleback released a statement Saturday evening regarding the release of the student’s identity.

“Today, the Orange County Coroner identified Jacob Mathews as the Saddleback College student who died in the Business and General Studies building fire on Monday, July 8. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victim’s family and we are honoring their right to privacy during this devastating time. Saddleback College administration, faculty, and staff are cooperating fully with the ongoing criminal investigation.”

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