Firefighters put out house fire, find 56-year-old dead in her garage

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) Firefighters found a 56-year-old woman dead in her garage early Saturday morning after putting out a fire in another part of her southwest Bakersfield home.

Police identified the woman as 56-year-old Clara Basta. Investigators at the house in the 4200 Block of Kilkenny Court called the death very suspicious.

The fire department was initially called to the home early Saturday morning to reports of a house fire, Bakersfield police said.

Arriving firefighters reported putting out a small fire in the house before finding Basta's unburned body in the garage.

Basta lived at the home with 58-year-old Victoria Terrel. Neighbors said the women were sisters and have lived at the home for more than a decade.

Investigators would not comment if anything was taken from the home, but would say Basta's car was missing from the driveway.

They found her white Dodge Intrepid on Sunday. It had been abandoned at another location.

Anyone with information is urged to call police at (661) 327-7111.