Originally posted at 11:32 a.m. April 2, 2014. Edited with new details.
Neighbors rescued a 67-year-old woman as flames trapped her on a balcony in Dana Point Tuesday.
Firefighters first arrived on the scene at 10:44 a.m., said Captain Steve Concialdi. But before they could arrive, a dispatcher remained on the phone with the resident to reassure her as “Good Samaritan” neighbors scrambled to get a ladder, he said.
The fire occurred in the 32900 Block of Bluffside Drive and caused extensive damage to the home, $250,000 to the structure and another $150,000 to the contents.
On a 911 tape released today, the panicky woman can be heard describing her perilous situation.
"My house is going fast," she told a dispatcher. "I can't get down."
Later, the woman told the dispatcher, "My hair is fried," and he advised her how she could protect herself until firefighters arrived.
"I want you to get as far away from the door as you can," he said. "I want you to get down and use the wall for protection."
The woman tried to follow the dispatcher's direction, saying, "It's burning like crazy."
Then a neighbor can be heard on the line telling the dispatcher that he had a ladder and the woman was climbing to safety.
The woman suffered smoke inhalation and minor burns to her face, as did her roommate, a man in his 40s, Concialdi said.
The “fire started in a bedroom and appears accidental,” Concialdi said. Its cause is still under investigation.
--City News Service contributed to this report.