An elderly woman was killed Sunday evening when fire erupted in her mobile home, trapping her inside, officials said. The victim was not immediately identified.
Some 25 county firefighters in three engines arrived on the scene within four minutes of the 6:33 p.m. call at the Dana Point Marina Mobile Home Estates at 34202 Del Obispo Street, officials said. They had been notified en route to the fire that there might be “an elderly female trapped inside,” said Capt. Dan Young, department spokesman.
But because of the fire’s intensity, they were not able to get inside the mobile home until eight minutes after arriving on the scene.
By that point, the woman was dead, he said.
“There’s not much you can do when you’ve got a fire fully involved like that,” Young said. “These mobile homes are made to burn--they tend to burn very fast and very hot, because you have so many combustibles all enclosed by steel.”
Young said two neighbors tried to enter the home before firefighters arrived but were driven back by the heat and smoke. The blaze was reported by employees at a nearby Carl’s Jr. restaurant.
At the scene, battalion chief Stan Matthews placed the woman’s age at 77. He was not able to give her name, however, or the cause of the fire. That was still under investigation.
“It looks like it started in the bedroom, but we can’t say for sure right now,” Matthews said. The victim was found near her closet in the bedroom, Young said.
Dave Crawford, a neighbor at the mobile home park, said he was having dinner when a guest said: “There’s something on fire.” Crawford ran outside to discover smoke pouring from a back window of the victim’s trailer. He told people to start moving their cars.
“We didn’t know what to do,” Crawford said. “The front window (of the victim’s trailer) started to buckle.”