Woman Dies in Condo Fire, Firefighters Hampered by Clutter

Firefighters say stacks of paper, boxes inside the condo that slowed crews down, hampered rescue effort

Firefighters rushing to rescue a woman trapped inside a condo fire Tuesday were blocked from getting inside, officials said.

One woman died when fire broke out inside the condominium in the 3200 block of Via Alicante of La Jolla.

When fire crews arrived just after 5 a.m. smoke and fire were showing from the first floor of the living portion of the three-story building.

Once firefighters headed inside the condo, they were blocked from entry.

“There was a lot of material in the unit and we had trouble navigating around it and getting through there,” said San Diego Fire-Rescue spokesperson Lee Swanson.

Officials said stacks of paper and other items cluttered the garage and first floor of the condo "making access difficult and requiring considerable overhaul to assure all embers and fire is extinguished."

The woman who lived alone in the condo was found deceased on the first floor.

No other units were damaged in the fire.

There were no other injuries. 

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