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Woman, 84, injured in North Hollywood 'pack rat' fire

January 11, 2012 | 11:04 am

North Hollywood house fire
A North Hollywood home badly damaged in a fire Wednesday was filled with "excess personal items" that fueled a small kitchen fire and turned it into a massive blaze, authorities said.

An 84-year-old woman was cooking breakfast on the stove when a newspaper caught fire, said Brian Humphrey, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The woman thought she had extinguished the flames when she headed out to her back porch, he said. She later noticed her kitchen was on fire, and when she opened the door, the heat was so intense, it pushed her back.

Firefighters arrived at the house in the 12400 block of Burton Street at 7:44 a.m. to find the one-story structure engulfed in flames.

The woman experienced first-degree burns on her face and was taken to Kaiser Permanente Hospital in fair condition, Humphrey said.

The 1,200-square-foot, one-story home was "filled floor-to-ceiling with combustible items -- excess personal items that would be classified as a pack rat situation," he said.

The fire was ruled an accident, he said. The home, which was built in 1952, was heavily damaged.

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-- Angel Jennings

Photo: A fire rages at a North Hollywood house. Credit: KTLA-TV

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