Fire claims life of Daly City resident

One person was killed and one injured in a two-alarm fire that broke out Wednesday afternoon in a Castleton Avenue home.

Neighbors and a legal guardian, who declined to give her name, said Dorothy Wissing, 87, was killed in the 4:20 p.m. fire at 79 Castleton Ave. in the Westlake district.

Wissing apparently lived in the home along with a caretaker, who reportedly escaped the fire with some injuries and was taken to Seton Medical Center.

Fire officials were still investigating the cause and origin of the fatal blaze Wednesday night after battling flames for 20 minutes.

North County Fire Authority spokeswoman Angeline Ciucci said there was significant damage to the two-story, wood-framed home, but did not yet have a damage estimate.

Neighbor James Tarantino, who lives across the street from Wissing’s house, said he had exchanged Chistmas gifts with her every year and took her to the cemetery when her husband died.

Tarantino described Wissing as a good person who collected owl figurines, had some adult children, drank Ramos fizzes and always made a point of complimenting his Elvis window display.

“She was such a good person, that’s why I don’t understand why this happened,” Tarantino said.

Tarantino said Wissing did not smoke.

Nearby resident Sue Brant did not know the names of the victims or much about them, but confirmed an elderly woman and her caretaker lived in the home where the fire occurred.

Brant said her sister had seen the flames shooting 6 or 7 feet horizontally out the windows before the firefighters were able to put out the blaze.

“They were coming out like they were being blown out,” Brant said.

Ciucci said there is no reason to believe that the fire is linked with two one-alarm fires that took place last week. She was not certain how many people lived in the house.

dsmith@examiner.com

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