3 deputies hurt trying to save woman from fatal fire

Local

SAN DIEGO — A woman died in a house fire Monday and three deputies were hurt trying to rescue her, according to the sheriff’s department.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said its deputies responded around 2:31 a.m. to the 500 block of Telford Lane after a woman, believed to be in her 60s, was heard in a 911 call screaming for help. Despite being unable to give her address, deputies drove around the area and found a house on fire.

The sheriff’s department said deputies heard continued calls for help and forced their way inside the home. They tried to reach the wheelchair-bound woman and gave her instructions to crawl out as flames quickly engulfed the house.

“The female was unable to move,” the sheriff’s department said in a news release. “Deputies entered the house a third time, crawling along the ground, trying to get to the female occupant. Again, smoke and flames overwhelmed the deputies, who were forced to leave the house.”

Firefighters with Cal Fire got the fire out and confirmed the woman’s death. The Medical Examiner’s Office was working to identify her. The sheriff’s department said three deputies were treated at a hospital for smoke inhalation and later released.

The deadly fire came as a shock to neighbors, including one who said she heard a “big boom” before her husband ran outside.

“They were trying to break down the door, but they just couldn’t,” the neighbor said. “They couldn’t get to her and they also were trying to motivate her to get up and try and get out of the house.”

The sheriff’s department said arson detectives don’t believe a criminal act led to the fire.

“There is nothing suspicious about the fire at this time,” the agency said. “What exactly started the fire remains under investigation.”

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