Woman found dead after Costa Mesa house fire

Flames shoot from a home on Oahu Place in Costa Mesa Tuesday morning. Firefighters searched the home and found a woman's body in the front bedroom, authorities said.
(Courtesy: Steve Smith)
<i>This post has been corrected, as noted below</i>

A woman was found dead after a fire consumed her single-story home in Costa Mesa on Tuesday morning, fire officials and neighbors confirmed.

Fire crews responded to reports of a fire at 1654 Oahu Place just after 6:30 a.m. Upon arrival, fire officials saw heavy smoke and flames coming from the front bedroom, said Deputy Fire Chief Fred Seguin.

Firefighters broke down the front door of the home, which was full of clothing and other items, Seguin said.

After less than a half-hour of searching, firefighters found the woman’s body in the front bedroom. Officials believe she was in her 70s, but they are not yet releasing her identity.

It took fire crews 45 minutes to extinguish the fire, Seguin said.

Officials estimated $500,000 worth of damage to the home and its contents.

“The house is pretty much a total loss,” Seguin said.

Fire officials are investigating the fire’s cause. It is unknown whether there were smoke detectors in the home, 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.

[For the record, 1:30 p.m. Aug. 5: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the address as 1661 Oahu Place. It is 1654 Oahu Place.]