The body of a woman was found in the smoldering ruins of a single-story home in Costa Mesa that was consumed by a blaze Tuesday, authorities said.
By the time crews responded to reports of a fire at the Oahu Place home just after 6:30 a.m., flames and heavy smoke were already coming from the front bedroom, said Deputy Fire Chief Fred Seguin.
Firefighters broke down the front door of the home, which was filled with clothing and other items, Seguin said.
After less than a half-hour of searching, firefighters said they found a woman's body in the front bedroom.
Officials said they believe she was in her 70s, but they have not released her identity.
It took fire crews 45 minutes to extinguish the fire, which caused an estimated $500,000 in damage. The cause of the fire is under investigation, and it was not immediately clear whether there were working smoke detectors in the home.
"The house is pretty much a total loss," Seguin said.
Neighbor Steve Smith's daughter was leaving for work Tuesday morning when she went back into her house to tell her father that their neighbor's house was on fire.
"Firefighters told me to prepare to evacuate in case [the fire] got worse," he said.
Smith said the woman lived alone and kept to herself.
"I've lived here 12 years; I'd be shocked if I ran into her six times," he said.