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Anne Heche trapped in LA crash inferno for 45 minutes, records reveal

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Anne Heche was burning alive and choking on smoke for 45 minutes in her crashed car inside a burning Los Angeles home before rescuers could start first aid, newly revealed records show.

The startling data obtained by NBC Los Angeles showed it took firefighters 25 minutes to locate Heche trapped inside her mangled car in the inferno — and another 20 minutes to pull her to safety.

Heche, 53, was driving her Mini Cooper on Aug. 5 when she slammed into a home in the Mar Vista section of LA, sparking the blaze.

“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 Fire Chief Richard Fields told the outlet.

Anne Heche, 53, spent 45 minutes burning alive and choking on smoke inside her wrecked Mini Cooper before firefighters found and rescued her, records show.
AFP via Getty Images
LA Fire Department records and radio communications show it took firefighters 20 minutes to determine that Heche was inside her car after she crashed into a home.
LA Fire Department records and radio communications show that it took firefighters 20 minutes to determine that Heche was inside her car after she crashed into a home.
Getty Images

The Emmy-winning actress was taken off life support and declared dead nine days after the fiery crash.

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner determined the “Donnie Brasco” star died of smoke inhalation and thermal injuries; her death was ruled an accident.

According to the radio records released to NBC Los Angeles under the California Records Act, the first fire engine responded to the crash at 11:01 a.m. — five minutes after Heche lost control of her car and plowed into the private home.

An emergency dispatcher radioed there was “a person stuck inside the vehicle,” but arriving paramedics were initially directed to treat a woman found injured in the home, not the driver of the Mini Cooper.

Another 25 had gone by before firefighters were able to remove the actress from her vehicle and begin life-saving measures.
Another 25 had gone by before firefighters were able to remove the actress from her vehicle and begin life-saving measures.
Getty Images

At 11:18 a.m. a firefighter reported there were no other patients at the scene.

Four minutes later, a commander asked about the status of the driver, subsequently identified as Heche.

At 11:25 a.m., a firefighter reported he’d found Heche but that she was “inaccessible at this time” because she’d been “pushed up against the floorboard,” the documents showed.

After determining Heche was alive, firefighters brought in a tow truck to pull her Mini Cooper — with the actress still inside — out of the home.

Heche was finally taken out of the car at 11:49 a.m. and rushed first to Ronald Regan UCLA Medical Center, before being transferred to the Grossman Burn Center at the West Hills Hospital.

Fire officials claimed even if Heche had been found immediately when the first units arrived, they likely would not have been able to rescue her for at least another 30 minutes because of the blaze raging inside the house.

Fields insisted firefighters did all they could to try to locate Heche in the car.

“Our firefighters were doing everything,” he said.

From start to finish, it took firefighters 65 minutes to fully extinguish the inferno.

Investigators were reportedly able to determine that Heche was under the influence of cocaine at the time of the crash.

Heche left no will when she died. Her eldest son, 20-year-old Homer Laffoon, on Wednesday filed documents seeking to take control of his mother’s estate. He’s also petitioning the court to name him a guardian over his 13-year-old brother, Atlas.

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