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Calexico woman burned in flash fire is critical

August 24, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — A Calexico woman was in critical condition this morning more than a day after she was burned in a flash fire that ignited when she was using gasoline to remove tiles from a floor.

Luz Moreno was being treated in University of California San Diego Medical Center burn unit today, where she was taken following the fire Wednesday in her newly purchased home in the 800 block of Dool Avenue.

Hospital officials declined to release much detail on the extent of her burns. A spokeswoman said only that Moreno was in critical condition and she likely would be critical for "awhile."

According to the Calexico Fire Department, Moreno, whose age was not available, suffered mostly second-degree burns and some third-degree burns over 32 percent of her body, including her face.

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The flash fire occurred shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday as Moreno and her husband were cleaning a house they were preparing to move into with their children.

While the husband and children were outside, Moreno was reportedly using gasoline to remove tiles from the kitchen.

Fire officials reported after the gasoline came into contact with a water heater, the gasoline ignited causing a flash fire.

While the house received minimal damage because the fire was not sustained, Moreno was in direct line of the flash.

She was first taken to El Centro Regional Medical Center, where she was stabilized and prepared for transfer to UCSD Medical Center.

The fire prompted Calexico fire officials to warn residents about the dangers of handling fuel sources such as gasoline.

They said gasoline should not be handled in closed-in spaces and is not meant to be used as a cleaning element.

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

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