COSTA MESA — A 44-year-old man died of smoke inhalation and a local firefighter was injured early Saturday when a fire, sparked by an apparent electrical short, destroyed a single-family home.
Fire officials said the house at 3032 Killybrooke Lane might have been burning for some time in the pre-dawn hours before neighbors awoke and alerted authorities at 5:06 a.m.
The victim, whose identity was not released pending notification of relatives, was found near the entrance to one of the bedrooms, away from the suspected flash point of the blaze. He died shortly after arriving at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, officials said.
Capt. Mark Brown said the fire might have been started by a malfunctioning living room lamp. It spread to the dining room and kitchen before racing through the rest of the three-bedroom structure.
When firefighters arrived, they found 50% of the home fully engulfed in flames and heavy smoke pouring from the windows. Brown said the fire burned so intensely that one firefighter suffered second-degree burns on his wrists and legs without ever being touched by flames.
The blaze was brought under control in 12 minutes. But Brown said the fire might have gone unnoticed by neighbors because it broke out before dawn.
"There aren't too many people walking around at that hour," Brown said, adding that damage to the home was estimated at $200,000.