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Huntington Beach man identified as victim of car fire

June 13, 2010 |  1:14 pm

Family members of 59-year-old James Purcey, whose body was found Memorial Day inside a burning car in a Huntington Beach garage, are calling the death a "tragic accident."

Purcey, who was recently identified by coroner officials through dental records, served as a Marine during the Vietnam War and was outspoken about exposing what he believed to be government lies, according to his website.

"Imagine if you could erase the 'corporate government' from your life. Take back your rights. Remove yourself and your family from the web of a controlling corporate government whose rules and regulations change daily, rules and regulations restricting your freedom and your rights," he wrote.

The Huntington Beach resident was found May 31 in the underground garage of Pelican Cove, a condominium complex at 16960 Algonquin Street, where Purcey also lived. The cause and manner of death are pending further investigation, officials said.

According to a statement released by his family members, Purcey had spoken to friends and family the day of his death and was excited about a future visit from his grandson and the news of his pregnant daughter. He had plans to meet up with family that afternoon.

The statement said Purcey had been using alcohol and gasoline to clear a fuel blockage in his Mercedes Benz and placed the containers in his other vehicle, a 1995 Ford Thunderbird.

After taking the Mercedes out for a drive, the statement said Purcey returned to the garage and entered the Thunderbird, at which point family members believe the door swung shut and he accidentally struck his lighter, which ignited the containers.

A memorial was held for Purcey on June 5 at Westminster Memorial Park Mortuary.

-- Corina Knoll