Early morning blaze in San Mateo kills woman

One woman was killed early Sunday in a fire that started in the bedroom of an Eichler-style home on Wolfe Drive.

San Mateo County Coroner’s office examiners had not yet released the name of the victim Sunday afternoon.

However, a woman named Nancy Einhoff was living in the home at 1716 Wolfe Drive after her parents, Joseph and Lucille, moved into an assisted-living facility, according to a neighbor, George Chan. According to voter records, Einhoff is 54.

A neighbor reported the fire to the San Mateo Police Department at 5:36 a.m., according to Battalion Chief Mike Borean.

“They had seen the flames,” Borean said. “When we got on scene, there was a heavy column of smoke showing.”

Fire crews were able to quickly knock down the fire, which was contained to one of the bedrooms.

It wasn’t until the fire was extinguished and the smoke was cleared from the house that firefighters found a body in the room, according to Borean.

The bedroom was destroyed and the rest of the house sustained smoke and heat damage. The fire, which appears to be accidental in nature, caused roughly $200,000 in damage to the structure and its contents. Fire Marshall’s investigators are working to determine the cause of the blaze, according to Borean.

Nobody answered the door at the smoke-stained home Sunday afternoon, and few neighbors were willing to talk about the fire or the victim. A pair of charred tiles stood outside the front door, which had been covered with plywood and padlocked by the fire department.

“These Eichler homes burn way too fast,” Borean said. “This one had been retrofitted with sheet rock walls [which don’t burn as quickly], which saved the structure — otherwise the house would have been a total loss.”

bwinegarner@examiner.com

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