Well-Known Surfer Identified as Victim in Fire Near Bodega Bay

Steven Wayne McAlpin, 62, was found dead Monday.

By Bay City News Service

The Sonoma County coroner's office has identified a man who died after being found unconscious in his car near his burning home north of Bodega Bay early Monday morning as 62-year-old Steven Wayne McAlpin.

McAlpin apparently escaped the fire and traveled a short distance down Coastal Avenue in Carmet before his car drove into a culvert, Bodega Bay Fire Protection District Chief Sean Grinnell said. 

The fire was reported at 3:20 a.m. As crews responded, neighbors alerted them about the car, and some of the crews turned their attention to McAlpin and tried to revive him, Grinnell said. 

He was pronounced dead at 4 a.m., according to the coroner's office. 

"It looked like he suffered a medical emergency," Grinnell said. 

The cause of his death remains under investigation, and an autopsy on Wednesday will help determine if he had breathed in smoke from the fire, Grinnell said.

McAlpin was a well-known surfer in the Bodega Bay area. 

"He repaired and built surfboards," Grinnell said.

The single-story house, located in a subdivision on Coastal Avenue, was destroyed in the blaze. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. 

Firefighters from Bodega Bay, Monte Rio, Gold Ridge, Occidental and Bodega controlled the blaze in about 45 minutes.

Copyright © 2013 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

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