Los Angeles — Actress Anne Heche crashed into a house on August 5, but it took firefighters 45 minutes to start trying to save her life, according to

fire department records and time-stamped recordings of radio communications. Heche, who was 53, was taken off of life support and died on August 14, nine days after the fiery crash.

The recordings, which were given to NBC Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Fire Department under the California Public Records Act, show that

firefighters couldn't reach Heche's car for at least 20 minutes and that it took at least 20 more minutes to pull the car out of the burning building to save her.

"Given the heavy fire and smoke, it wasn't easy to see inside the vehicle or get to it," Deputy Fire Chief Richard Fields told NBC Los Angeles.

"There's a lot of smoke and a lot of fire, so it's hard for us to just see each other inside a working structure fire," he said. 

On his death certificate, the date of Heche's death is listed as August 11. Her spokesperson said on August 12 that she was brain-dead but was being kept alive so that her organs could be donated.

At 10:56 a.m., Heche crashed her Mini Cooper into a house in the Mar Vista neighbourhood on the west side of the city, the fire department said.

It said at the time that it took firefighters 65 minutes "to get to, contain, and fully put out the stubborn flames inside the heavily damaged building, and to rescue an adult woman who was found inside the vehicle."

According to recordings given to NBC Los Angeles, the first fire truck arrived at the scene at 11:01 a.m., and within seconds, dispatchers told them

that someone was stuck in the car that had crashed into the house.

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