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MAR VISTA : Cigarette Ignites House Fire; 77-Year-Old Woman Found Dead

June 15, 1995|SUSAN STEINBERG

An elderly woman has died in a house fire ignited by a cigarette, fire officials said.

Mafalda Menzel, 77, was found dead Friday in her home in the 4300 block of Lyceum Avenue after the blaze was extinguished by the Los Angeles City Fire Department, said spokesman Milton Urquilla.

A county coroner's spokesman said the cause of death had not been determined. Fire officials said the blaze was caused by a cigarette.

At 3:24 a.m., a neighbor called 911 to report the fire. Fifteen firefighters from three fire companies responded and when they arrived, heavy smoke was coming from the house, Urquilla said.

The fire, which was confined to Menzel's bedroom, was extinguished in about 15 minutes. Damage to the house was estimated at $100,000.

An unidentified housemate, also an elderly woman, woke up when she smelled smoke and was able to get out of the house, Urquilla said.

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