A 90-year-old woman who was the subject of a rescue effort by two Orange County sheriff’s deputies amid a raging house fire in Yorba Linda has died, authorities said Tuesday.
Deputies on patrol arrived at the home — in the in 21800 block of Todd Avenue (map) — before firefighters could get there and proceeded to try to find ways to help the elderly woman, who was trapped on the second floor of the burning home.
The woman’s 56-year-old son had been outside talking to a neighbor when he saw smoke coming from the home. As the neighbor called 911, the son tried to get upstairs to his mother but was pushed back by heat and smoke, according to Orange County Fire Authority spokesman Capt. Steve Concialdi.
Deputy Robert Miranda, a seven-year veteran of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, arrived first, finding the son spraying a garden hose into the home.
“He was saying ‘My mother’s inside, she’s upstairs, she’s upstairs,’ kind of in shock. Unbeknownst to him, the hose wasn’t doing much work, but he was there trying to do anything he could,” Miranda said.
Miranda put on a gas mask and tried to enter the home through the front door, but the smoke was so heavy he couldn’t see, he said at a news conference.
His partner, Deputy Zack Bieker, soon arrived and went to try to get inside through a rear door.
Miranda clambered up on the roof and began breaking windows with his baton, trying to figure out where the woman was.
A big gush of heat rose from each window, pushing him back each time, Miranda said.
“It’s shocking … I can’t hold my breath and stick my head in there — it’s too hot, and the smoke is just blinding,” he recalled.
A neighbor called the men’s actions “heroic.”
Firefighters arrived and were able to enter the home while wearing air packs and take the 90-year-old victim and bring her outside, Concialdi said.
She was in cardiac arrest but she was resuscitated on the way to the hospital, Concialdi said. She was later taken to a burn center.
Coroner’s officials later confirmed that she died. She was identified as Katheryn Carras.
Her son was treated for respiratory injuries, and video showed him being wheeled from the home to an ambulance.
Another son who lives at the home said Carras was survived by three children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Miranda and Bieker were treated for minor smoke inhalation and released from the hospital.
The two-story, 2,500 square-foot home suffered extensive damage, Concialdi said. About 40 firefighters responded from Orange County Fire Authority and Anaheim fire department, knocking down the blaze in 30 minutes.
The fire was under investigation, he said.
KTLA’s Jennifer Thang and Chip Yost contributed to this article.