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Calexico woman burned while using gas to remove floor tiles

August 23, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — A woman suffered second- and third-degree burns over 40 percent of her body here Wednesday when the gasoline she was using to remove tile from a floor ignited in a flash fire.

Luz Moreno was being treated today in the University of California San Diego Medical Center, where she was taken following the 9:10 p.m. fire in a house in the 800 block of Dool Avenue.

Hospital officials did not have information on her condition this morning, stating only that she was undergoing "procedures."

According to Calexico fire Capt. Art Navarro, Moreno was using gasoline to help remove tiles in a house she recently purchased with her husband.

Moreno, whose age was not available, and her husband were working on the house Wednesday as they were getting ready to move into it with their children, Navarro reported.

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The husband and children were outside the house when the fire erupted and were not injured. The fire ignited as gasoline made contact with a water heater.

While the fire did not result in continuing flames, Moreno received mostly second- and some third-degree burns over 40 percent of her body, including facial burns.

When firefighters arrived, Navarro reported, the fire had been extinguished. He said the husband used a garden hose to spray the kitchen area where the fire occurred.

Paramedics treated Moreno at the scene, then took her to El Centro Regional Medical Center. She was later transferred to UCSD Medical Center.

Navarro issued a warning that gasoline is a volatile substance and that people should always be cautious when handling the fuel.

He said it should never be handled in closed-in spaces and it should not be used as a cleaning tool.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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