RAMONA — A predawn house fire in Ramona left a retirement-age resident dead Monday, authorities reported.
The woman made a 911 call about 2:30 a.m. to report the blaze but was unable to provide her address, according to sheriff’s officials.
Deputies drove around the neighborhood and found the burning home in the 500 block of Telford Lane, about a mile south of state Route 78.
Entering the residence, the patrol personnel “attempted to instruct the elderly female to crawl out of the house,” but she apparently was unable to move, Lt. Daniel Vengler said. They retreated from the house, then re-entered, trying in vain to reach the woman.
“Deputies entered the house a third time, crawling along the ground (and) trying to get to the … occupant,” Vengler said. “Again, smoke and flames overwhelmed the deputies, who were forced to leave the house.”
Firefighters found the woman’s body in the charred home, and the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office was called in to confirm her identity.
Three deputies were treated at a hospital for smoke inhalation.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation as of Monday afternoon, though it did not appear to be suspicious.
“While the investigation is still ongoing and things may later change, the sheriff’s Bomb/Arson Unit detectives say they do not believe this is a criminal act,” Sgt. Greg Hampton said.