A 90-year-old woman died after flames tore through her Yorba Linda home, and her son and two deputies were injured trying to rescue her, fire officials said Tuesday night.
The fire broke out shortly before 10 a.m. in the two-story home while Katheryn Carras was upstairs, officials said. Her 56-year-old son was outside talking to a neighbor when he became aware of the blaze and ran inside to try to save her.
"He got pushed back by the heavy smoke and hot gases," said Capt. Steve Concialdi of the Orange County Fire Authority.
The son grabbed a garden hose and tried to knock down the flames, Concialdi said, but "the fire just grew rapidly."
The two deputies arrived and also tried to enter the home through the front and back doors but were beaten back by choking smoke and hot gases.
The blaze was controlled after about 30 minutes by 40 firefighters.
Concialdi said the son was being treated Tuesday night at a hospital for smoke inhalation and burns to his respiratory tract. "That's why the fire department never recommends going into a burning structure" without proper safety equipment, Concialdi said.
The two deputies were treated at a hospital for smoke inhalation and released. Carras was pronounced dead at a hospital, the Orange County coroner's office said.
Concialdi said investigators suspect that a smoke alarm in the home was not working when the blaze broke out.
"It was a tragic scene," he said.