Firefighters Didn't Reach Anne Heche for 45 Minutes

They couldn't access her Mini Cooper, buried inside home
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2022 7:31 AM CDT
Firefighters Didn't Reach Anne Heche for 45 Minutes
Anne Heche arrives at the premiere of "The Tender Bar" at the TCL Chinese Theatre, on Dec. 12, 2021, in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

For the first 45 minutes firefighters were on the scene, they were unable to help Anne Heche. The actor crashed into a home in the Mar Vista neighborhood around 10:56am on Aug. 5. With flames raging, firefighters were unable to reach Heche's Mini Cooper for at least 20 minutes, then spent another 20 minutes trying to get the actor out of the vehicle, according to fire department records obtained by NBC News. Deputy Fire Chief Richard Fields describes "heavy fire and smoke conditions," per NBC. That made it "very difficult for us to just see each other on the inside of a working structure fire," he said. "It wasn't that you could clearly see into the vehicle or clearly be able to access it."

Per NBC, the first fire engine arrived at 11:01am. Though firefighters were quickly directed to treat a female resident of the home, it wasn't until 11:25am that a firefighter said he'd reached the driver. "We have identified one patient, inaccessible at this time. He's pushed up against the floorboard!" the firefighter said in a radio recording. A heavy-duty tow truck pulled the vehicle out of the home before Heche was removed from it around 11:49am.

Heche, who suffered smoke inhalation and thermal injuries, was declared brain dead on Aug. 11 and was only kept on life support until Aug. 14 so her organs could be donated. The 53-year-old did not have a will, and her 20-year-old son Homer Laffoon filed court papers Wednesday requesting control of her estate, whose value is listed as unknown. The petition names Laffoon, Heche's son with TV camera operator Coleman Laffoon, and 13-year-old Atlas Tupper, Heche's other son with actor James Tupper, as her only heirs, the AP reports. (More Anne Heche stories.)

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