Burns from house fire caused the death of elderly Templeton woman

An autopsy showed that a Templeton woman burned to death in a house fire earlier this week, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department.

Dorothy Thorne Hubbs, 85, reportedly escaped the home with her husband after a propane wall heater set a cloth-covered chair on fire. Investigators believe she then may have gone back inside, Cal Fire Capt. Chad Zrelak said, but there's no evidence to determine why.

It's also undetermined at this point if Hubbs lost consciousness prior to her death.

Zrelak said Hubbs' husband, Earl Hubbs, went back into the ranch style house at 4225 S. El Pomar Road with a water hose to extinguish the fire before it spread.

When the hose couldn't reach, he came back out only to find his wife wasn't there.

The couple originally escaped out the east side of the house. When she was found, Dorothy Hubbs' body was outside on the west side of the house - a possible sign that she went back through the house and escaped out another door.

Friends described her as a sweet and thoughtful woman who was a one time fixture at monthly luncheons for neighbors in the rural North County community.

-Tonya Strickland