82-year-old womandies in Monterey Heights fire

A body found in a San Francisco house that burned for at least an hour before firefighters arrived to fight it Wednesday morning has been identified by the San Francisco medical examiner's office.

The body of Dorothy Helfat, 82, was discovered inside the charred two-story house at 160 Saint Elmo Way in the city's Monterey Heights neighborhood. Fire officials used heat-detecting cameras to find her.

Firefighters were late to the fire because they had trouble finding the burning home, said San Francisco fire Lt. Mindy Talmadge.

Fire officials received a report of a smoky smell about two blocks from the home at 2:10 a.m., but it wasn't until more than an hour later, at 3:19 a.m., when firefighters located the home. Talmadge said someone spotted smoke coming from the roofline of the house.

The flames were controlled just before 4 a.m. Firefighters then discovered Helfat's body.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries while combating the blaze and were transported to San Francisco General Hospital for treatment.

The cause of both the fire and Helfat's death remain under investigation.

Bay City News

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