Elderly woman killed, three injured in Bird Rock house fire


An unidentified elderly woman died this morning and three other people were injured in a fire that broke out in a granny flat then spread to the main residence at 5530 La Jolla Hermosa Ave. in Bird Rock about 7:45 a.m. on Monday.

“A 94-year-old woman was found inside the granny flat behind the main house on the floor,” said Maurice Luque, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman. “Apparently she had been overcome by smoke.”

Luque said the fire was first noticed by a pair of construction workers in the area. “They grabbed a hose and put water on the fire to keep it from spreading,” he said, adding one of the workers suffered smoke inhalation in the process and had to be taken to the hospital.

Also treated for smoke inhalation was a man in his 70s whom he identified as the son-in-law of the fire victim, Luque said. “He was found on the couch unconscious in the main house apparently overcome by smoke and disoriented.”

Luque added a policewoman fell and injured her arm suffering scratches and bruises, as well as inhaling smoke, while fighting the blaze. She was also transported to the hospital for treatment.

There was extensive damage to both the granny flat and the main home but neither was destroyed, said Luque.

“There’s no fire damage in the inside of the front of the house,” he said, adding there was smoke damage there and that firefighters had to “cut a hole in the roof” to ventilate the fire.

“The fire is under investigation, we don’t have a cause or a dollar loss,” said Luque, adding officials were awaiting removal of the body by the coroner’s office at midmorning.

Luque said he was told the elderly fire victim had once been a waitress at La Jolla Country Club.

Four Chihuahuas found at the house were taken to animal control for safekeeping.