Shocking Details Emerge About Anne Heche's Rescue From Fiery Crash
By Dani Medina
September 3, 2022
Anne Heche was trapped in her burning car for nearly an hour after crashing into a home earlier this month, new audio from this he Los Angeles Fire Department reveals.
The audio files, obtained by NBC Los Angeles, show firefighters were unable to get access to her car for at least 20 minutes. It took another 20 minutes to get the car out of the burning building to rescue the I Know What You Did Last Summer actress. LAFD staff said it took 30 minutes to fight the fire at the home before a rescue could be made.
Firefighters first responded to the scene in Mar Vista at 11:01 a.m. on August 5. "There is a person inside the vehicle," a dispatcher is heard saying. Fire officials treated the woman they found at the scene — but it has now made clear that the woman was the resident of the home, not the driver of the car. Seventeen minutes later, firefighters said, "We do have no patients at this time." At 11:22 a.m. they radioed, "Let me clear this up, so, you do have a patient in the car?" Three minutes later a firefighter said, "We have identified one patient, inaccessible at this time, he’s pushed up against the floorboard."
That patient was later identified as Heche. She was found collapsed below the front seats of her car. "I will say that that where the person was in the vehicle was not in the driver's seat, but on the floorboard of the passenger seat," LAPD Deputy Chief Richard Fields told NBC Los Angeles.
Firefighters were able to tow the car out of the home. Heche was pulled out of her car at 11:49 a.m. "We have one patient in the auto, being assessed, about to be loaded up on the gurney for transport," a firefighter is heard saying.
Heche was first taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center before being transported for specialized care at the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital. She died a week later. The Los Angeles Fire Department says even if Heche was found in the car earlier, "it's unlikely firefighters would have responded differently."
"I would imagine, just based on some of the very experienced officers that were initiating the firefight, that they made the best effort they could to try to identify that someone was in the vehicle. Our firefighters were doing everything," Fields said.
The coroner's office's investigation has not been finalized, but her cause of death was ruled as smoke inhalation and thermal injuries as a result of burns sustained in the crash.