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Flash fire victim remains critical

August 30, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — A Calexico woman burned in a flash fire at her Calexico home remained in critical condition today in the University of California San Diego Medical Center burn unit.

Luz Moreno suffered second- and third-degree burns over 32 percent of her body Aug. 22 when a flash fire erupted in her newly purchased home.

The fire started when Moreno was using gasoline to remove tile from the kitchen floor. According to fire officials, the gasoline came in contact with a water heater, causing the flash fire.

Moreno's husband and children were outside the house and were not injured. Because the fire was not sustained, it caused little damage to the house.

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Moreno was taken to El Centro Regional Medical Center, and then flown to the UCSD Medical Center, where she has remained in critical condition.

Following the flash fire, Calexico fire officials issued a warning that gasoline is a fuel and must be handled with care.

They said it should not be handled in closed-in spaces and should not be used for purposes for which it was not designed.

The Burn Institute, which has offices in the Imperial Valley, also issued a warning stating the misuse of gasoline causes thousands of deaths each year.

The institute said it should only be used to power vehicles or machinery.

According to the Burn Institute, 1 gallon of gasoline is equivalent to 14 sticks of dynamite in explosive force.

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

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