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San Diego County Digest

La Mesa

September 09, 1986

A 57-year-old La Mesa man died Sunday night of burns he suffered when he was caught in a shed fire, San Diego County Sheriff's Department officials said.

Ernest McAbee, a General Dynamics analyst, was working in a shed behind his home on Lupin Way about 10:30 a.m. Sunday when a fire engulfed the structure. McAbee received second- and third-degree burns over 90% to 95% of his body before officials could get him out, authorities said.

He was taken by Life Flight helicopter to UC San Diego Medical Center's burn unit, where he died at 6:07 p.m.

Investigation into the cause of the fire continues, but sheriff's deputies suspect a spark from a cigarette McAbee was smoking ignited gunpowder and fumes from gasoline stored in the shed.

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