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Patient Killed In Hospital Fire

May 23, 1986

BOSSIER CITY, La. (AP) _ Fire broke out in a hospital on Thursday, killing a woman who may have been smoking in bed and forcing the evacuation of 46 other patients, officials said.

Some patients had to be dragged out on sheets and blankets. A few hospital employees were treated for smoke inhalation.

″It was chaos,″ said Kena Minnick, a spokeswoman for the medical center.

She said the dead woman, Jewel Echols, 62, of Karnack, Texas, was a first- floor patient who may have been smoking in bed.

Ms. Minnick refused to say why the woman was hospitalized but hospital executive director David Bird said the victim was well enough to walk.

The fire, which broke out shortly after 6 a.m., caused smoke damage in the first-floor corridor, but Bird said he hoped some of the patients could be returned to their rooms quickly.

Those who were evacuated were taken to other parts of the hospital, Ms. Minnick said.

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