An 84-year-old Burbank woman set her house ablaze Friday morning by overstuffing her lit fireplace with paper, authorities said.
Thelma Carle escaped without serious injury, but her small, two-bedroom house suffered about $80,000 in damage, said Burbank Fire Capt. Richard Fischer.
Carle was taken to Olive View Medical Center for treatment of minor burns and evaluation while police and her sister arranged for her placement in a rest home, said Detective Carl Costanza, who investigates fires for the Burbank Police Department.
Costanza and two neighbors said Carle has lived in the house in the 1800 block of North Avon Street for about 40 years, alone the last 20 years since her husband died.
The house was filled with combustible items such as old newspapers, furniture and keepsakes that Carle refused to throw away. Those objects closest to the fireplace ignited, Costanza said.