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Early Morning House Fire in Orinda Leaves Teenager Dead

The 16-year-old girl attended Miramonte High School

A 16-year-old girl died after flames engulfed a house in Orinda early Sunday morning, according to the Moraga-Orinda Fire District.

The blaze, which broke out before 4 a.m. at 524 Moraga Way, also left two other people in the house and a firefighter with burn injuries, according to the fire district. The three injured people were transported to hospitals. 

Firefighters found the single-family home up in flames when they arrived, according to the fire district. They immediately jumped into rescue mode, but the teenage girl, who has been identified as Luca Gero, did not survive.

Firefighters said hot gases created what is known as a flash-over, where everything inside the home becomes combustible due to a quick change in conditions. That prevented firefighters from going inside the home immediately, they said. Gero's parents were reportedly out of town.

Gero attended Miramonte High School, where she was a member of the Latin Club and the cross-country team.

"She was a student who lived big, a lot of impact, dynamic, kind, thoughtful," Miramonte High School Principal Julie Parks said. "She'll be greatly missed."

Even though Miramonte is on Thanksgiving break, grief counselors were made available for students Monday morning at the school's campus.

A vigil is being planned for later this week. There is also a GoFundMe campaign for the family that had raised more than $94,000 as of Monday afternoon.

Nine engines responded to battle the house fire, according to the fire district. The blaze was pronounced under control at 5:08 a.m.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

NBC Bay Area's Marianne Favro and Bob Redell contributed to this report.

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