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90-year-old woman dies in apartment fire

December 25, 2011 |  8:35 pm

Firefighters found a 90-year-old woman burned to death on the floor of her Pacoima apartment Sunday morning after she apparently brushed up against a lighted candle, authorities said.

Los Angeles firefighters were called out to the six-story senior living facility in the 11000 block of Norris Avenue after a visitor noticed smoke seeping out of the woman’s front door.

Firefighters forced their way inside the third floor apartment and quickly put out a small fire, which appeared to have started from the candle, said L.A. Fire Department spokesman Matt Spence.

The unit’s only occupant was found on the floor in the middle of the unit, her clothes smoldering and her body badly burned. Spence said the cause of death is still undetermined, but it appears she brushed up against the burning candle.

“It’s a sad and tragic story, those ones you hate to have to report on Christmas,” Spence said. “We do that in hopes that others learn from it. You can’t overemphasize the importance of safety in dealing with open flames like that. It obviously doesn’t take much.”

The woman’s name was not released.

-- Robert Faturechi