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Fatal D.C. blaze investigated

Fire investigators probing a fatal blaze at a senior living center are focusing on a lounge chair inside an apartment as the point of origin, and two possible sources of ignition: the chair's motorized, electrical components or a discarded cigarette.

Firefighters were called to the Greenleaf Senior Apartments in the 1200 block of Delaware Ave. SW at 11:20 p.m. Monday, said D.C. fire department spokesman Pete Piringer.

They found a fire inside a fourth-floor apartment, and rescued the lone occupant, a 63-year-old woman who was suffering from extensive burns, Piringer said.

She was treated at the scene and taken to the burn unit at Washington Hospital Center, but died of her injuries early Tuesday, Piringer said.

Firefighters were able to control the blaze in about 10 minutes. The apartment's smoke alarm appears to have activated properly. "Unfortunately, the victim was not able to get out on her own," Piringer said.

-- Dan Morse

By Dan Morse  | November 2, 2010; 11:51 AM ET
Categories:  Dan Morse, Fires & Fire Safety, The District, Updates  
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