Orange County Fire Authority firefighters were headed for the Tuesday evening Tustin apartment blaze when they learned a resident was trapped on a second-floor balcony.
KNX radio says neighbors climbed on the shoulders of others in an effort to reach the trapped woman before she died in the flames.
A 39-year-old neighbor whose name hasn't been released is hospitalized with severe burns.
It took firefighters about 20 minutes to extinguish the blaze. The cause of the fire hasn't been determined.
Information from: KNX-AM, http://www.knx1070.com/