Firefighters are crediting a 911 dispatcher with keeping a Dana Point woman calm while a fire burned through her home and cornered her on a second-floor deck.
In a recording of the call released Wednesday by the Orange County Fire Authority, the dispatcher can be heard trying to keep the woman collected as crackling flames are heard creeping toward her.
“The bedroom is on fire, my house is going fast!” the 67-year-old woman screamed into the phone about 10:40 a.m. Tuesday.
“OK, we’re on the way, just calm down,” the dispatcher told her. “Is anyone upstairs.”
“I am and I can’t get down! ... it’s burning like crazy!”
The call lasted about five minutes; all the while the woman remained trapped on her deck. The fire started in a bedroom on the other side of the house and spread quickly. It appeared to be accidental, officials said.
The dispatcher told the woman to shield herself from the smoke and heat by staying as much behind her deck wall as possible because the glass door had already blown out.
But just as the crackle of the flames grew loudest on the recording, the woman’s perilous situation came to safe resolution. Neighbors’ voices can be heard telling her they’ve gotten her a ladder to lower her down, and firefighters’ sirens can be heard closing in from the distance.
When firefighters arrived, the woman was safely on the ground and so was her roommate.
Fire Authority officials said the woman suffered from smoke inhalation, minor burns to her face and some singed hair. The fire damage totaled about $400,000 in damage and property loss.