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Eight Killed in Fires in Four States

June 14, 1987

Undated (AP) _ Fire engulfed a Los Angeles furniture store Saturday, killing an 8-year- old girl and critically injuring another child, while a fire set by a Chicago landlady killed an 80-year-old tenant, authorities said, bringing to eight the number of people killed in fires in four states since Friday.

On Friday, a fire swept through a Massachusetts home, killing a man, two of his sons and a fourth person, while two young brothers were killed in a Ohio house fire ignited by matches or candles.

In the Los Angeles fire, the 8-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy who were inside the blazing furniture store were taken to California Medical Center in full cardiac arrest, Fire Department spokesman Jim Williamson said.

The girl died about 30 minutes after her arrival, said a nursing administrator who asked not to be identified. The boy was in critical condition in the pediactric intensive care ward, she said.

The identities of the children were not immediately known.

A firefighter who suffered smoke inhalation and another with a cut arm were listed in stable condition at the hospital, officials said.

The cause of the blaze was under investigation.

In Chicago, Harriet Mize, 71, set fire to her tenants’ apartment, killing one occupant and critically burning another, wanting to scare them because they were ″pigs,″ said Chicago police detective Charles Rickher.

″Basically, she wanted them to move out because they were messy and had too much stuff piled up,″ Rickher said. ″She said they were pigs.″

Mrs. Mize allegedly used a match at about 3 a.m. Saturday to ignite a wastebasket filled with paper, which she left on a porch outside one of her tenants’ second-story apartments, Rickher said.

The woman then ran down the stairs and called the Police and Fire departments, telling them she had set the blaze, Rickher said.

″She never intended it to get so big,″ Rickher said.

Killed was Ignatius Kowahl, 80, said Fire Department spokesman Jerry Lawrence. The tenant of another apartment, Angwyji Sotys, 38, was reported in critical condition at Cook County Hospital, said hospital spokeswoman Ampara Mendoza.

In the Hingham, Mass., fire, the death toll rose to four Saturday when John Rowe, 32, died from his injuries. A 5-year-old son, Scott, had died Friday in the fire, and his 7-year-old son, Mark, afterwards. Officials found the body of a fourth victim in the wreckage Saturday.

Fire dispatcher Scott McMillian said the fourth victim was not related to the family, but he could not provide further identification.

A third son, 9-year-old John Rowe Jr., was in the pediatric intensive care unit at Massachusetts General Hospital on Saturday.

Firefighters had pulled the three boys and their father out of a bedroom window after the blaze broke out in the living room, said Hingham Fire Capt. Gerard Linscott.

Rowe’s wife, Gail, was returning from work at a Hingham restaurant when the fire started, police said.

In Youngstown, Ohio, William Latson, 4, and his brother Marvin, 6, were killed when fire swept through their home, lighted by candles because electricity had been shut off for non-payment of the utility bill.

Simone, 7, and Carla Latson, 2, were treated for smoke inhalation and released from Northside Medical Center. Three others, including at 16-year-old babysitter, were uninjured.

Electricity to the home had been shut off for three days, said John Zamary, chief arson investigator.

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