Last Update: Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Uriel Estrada Died On His Birthday PDF Print E-mail
Written by Diana Martinez   
Friday, 24 January 2014 23:59

Sabrina Morales was Isabel Estrada’s best friend since kindergarten. The 12-year-olds went to school together at Santa Rosa Catholic School, on Monday, Jan. 13 they were planning to present their science project together.

“They were at my home, the night before,” said Leyla Morales. “They were practicing their ‘Electric Pickle’ report. Isabel had requested that they make their presentation in front of the school on that day, as a gift for her father, it was his birthday and he had taken the day off from work to be there. He died on his birthday.

When Sabrina’s best friend had not arrived at school and the announcement was made that all four members of the Estrada family had died in a home fire earlier that morning, she burst into tears and was taken out of the classroom. “She was one of the first to see a counselor and I was at the school to pick her up as soon as I had heard what happened,” Morales said. Morales said the Estradas were “a great family.” Uriel and Maria were very involved in their children's lives and even though they had financial challenges, it was important for them to keep Isabel and her brother Alex at the private Catholic school.

She said that the family moved into the converted barn right before Christmas, and Uriel [the father] had noted that the home appeared to have electrical problems. “He had said that when his wife tried to use her blow dryer, there were sparks,” Morales said. Morales said Uriel was a former Marine and had been injured at a previous job, on disability for two years and the family had lost their home during the housing crisis. But more recently, life appeared to be looking up for them; he had secured a job a year ago at a solar company in Chatsworth, they were happy that they found their own place to live and they looked toward saving to buy a house.

Morales said she and her daughter went by the home and saw many of Uriel’s co-workers there. They all needed to see it for themselves, trying to get their head around the unthinkable --- they were all distraught, in disbelief and looking for answers.