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Anaheim Boy, 6, Fatally Burned as Couch Catches Fire in Alley

March 19, 1986|JERRY HICKS | Times Staff Writer

A 6-year-old Anaheim boy died Tuesday when a couch he was playing with caught fire in an alley behind his apartment in the 1800 block of West Crescent Avenue.

The boy, Byron Michael LeMaster, was trapped beneath the couch and was dead when firefighters and police arrived. An unidentified neighbor boy who was playing with him escaped unharmed.

Police said Byron and his playmate were playing "fort" with the abandoned couch, which was turned upside down next to a dumpster.

The victim, according to witnesses, set a paper bag on fire, and the flames quickly spread to the couch.

Lucille Porter, who manages the apartment complex with her husband , described the death as "a terrible tragedy. . . . I'm too shocked to talk about it."

Porter said she was just leaving the office about 4:30 p.m. when she saw a woman, who turned out to be the victim's mother, near the dumpsters in the east alley behind the apartments.

"At first I thought the dumpster was on fire, but the woman was next to the couch and yelling, 'My son is in there.' "

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