Woman dies in fire at cluttered La Jolla condo

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SAN DIEGO — Crews fighting a fire in a dangerously cluttered La Jolla condominium found a woman’s body in the living room, authorities said.

Fire Investigator The fire at 3245 Via Alicante was reported at around 5:10 a.m. after witnesses saw smoke billowing from a unit on the second floor of the three-story building.

When firefighters entered the unit, they found it difficult to maneuver because of the clutter, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Lee Swanson said.

“There was a lot of material, a lot of papers, a lot of things that she had collected and kept, some of it as much as waste high,” Swanson said. “It made it difficult to get around and figure out, plus the dark conditions and the smoke and so forth made it difficult for to figure out even where we were and what we were facing there.”

Firefighters had the fire under control in about 20 minutes.

The cause of the unidentified woman’s death was under investigation.

It also was not immediately clear what sparked the blaze, which caused an estimated $300,000 worth of damage to the structure and destroyed about $200,000 worth of contents.



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