New records reveal that the late actress Anne Heche was trapped in her burning Mini Cooper for almost 45 minutes before she was retrieved after crashing it into a Los Angeles home.
Local outlet NBC4 published audio files with timestamps on Thursday of the Los Angeles Fire Department’s response to her accident in the Mar Vista neighborhood on August 5.
“Given the heavy fire and smoke conditions, it wasn’t that you could clearly see into the vehicle or clearly be able to access it,” Deputy Chief Richard Fields told the outlet while they were on the scene. “Heavy smoke conditions, heavy fire conditions, which makes it very difficult for us to just see each other on the inside of a working structure fire.”
The LAFD arrived on scene at 11:01 a.m. and quickly realized that a person was “stuck inside the vehicle” after they were told by the dispatcher.
Paramedics were directed to immediately treat a woman firefighters found in the home; however, it was later discovered that the woman was the owner of the home, Lynne Mishele, not Heche, who was at that time still trapped in the vehicle.
“The patient that was identified initially, was the person that was in the home,” Fields said.
Several minutes later at 11:18 a.m., one of the firefighters radioed that there was no one else in the building.
“We do have no patients at this time,” the firefighter said.
Four minutes later, at 11:22 a.m., radio messages began to overlap between firefighters with an incident commander eventually asking about the driver.
“Let me clear this up, so – you do have a patient in the car?” they said over the radio.
A firefighter responded not long after, saying that he had found Heche, telling the commander that “We have identified one patient, inaccessible at this time, he’s pushed up against the floorboard!”
Heche had collapsed below the front seats of her Mini Cooper, explaining why firefighters had not seen her until they got closer to the vehicle.
Once she was found and confirmed to be alive, firefighters pulled the vehicle out of the home with Heche still inside, using a heavy-duty tow truck. She was removed from the wreckage at 11:49.
“We have one patient in the auto, being assessed, about to be loaded up on the gurney for transport,” a firefighter reported over the radio.
Heche was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center before being transferred for specialized care to the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital.
Seven days later, she was declared brain dead. Heche’s death was ruled accidental and a result of multiple factors including smoke inhalation and thermal injuries. It was revealed before she was pronounced dead that she had cocaine and possibly fentanyl in her system on the day of the crash.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.