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Residential Fires Kill 20

December 21, 1987

Undated (AP) _ Five children died Monday when flames engulfed their home near Portland, Ore., bringing to 20 the number of people killed in residential fires since Sunday.

A sixth child suffered serious burns in the Estacada, Ore., fire and was airlifted to a Portland hospital. Three others escaped the blaze, fire department spokesman John McAdoo said.

The parents of the children, ages 3 to 9 years, had left the 1 1/2 -story house at 11:30 p.m. Sunday and the fire was reported about 45 minutes later, McAdoo said. No cause has been determined.

Three children, ages 1, 2 and 3, died when fire gutted a mobile home at the outskirts of Fresno, Calif., shortly after dawn Monday. Their mother and a 5- year-old daughter escaped, said Capt. Roger Teigen of MidValley Fire Department. The cause of the fire was unknown, he said.

On Sunday, an 8-year-old Fresno boy died in another home fire after bedding fell onto a floor heater next to a hideaway bed.

Two men and a woman died early Monday in an apartment fire in New York’s Bronx borough, but firefighters rescued two others who were about to jump from a fifth-floor window.

The fire was believed to have started where the bodies were found, a rear bedroom of the top-floor apartment, Fire Chief Mel Kalachman said. The fire may have been caused by cigarette smoking in bed, he said.

In Columbus, Ga., a man died early Sunday in a vain attempt to rescue his 7-year-old daughter from a burning house. Neighbors said the 43-year-old man rescued an 8-month-old daughter, then returned for his elder daughter. Firemen found both victims in a front bedroom.

A neighbor restrained the man’s wife as she tried to follow her husband into the burning house. The fire probably was sparked by defective wiring in the attic, said a fire department investigator, Lt. Robert Walker.

Three members of a Winfield, Kan., family died in their home early Sunday after a smoldering cigarette apparently fell from an ashtray and set fire to a chair, fire officials said.

A badly burned Long Beach, Calif., boy was in fair condition Monday at Memorial Medical Center after an apartment fire killed his mother and injured her boyfriend Sunday.

The 5-year-old burst through a window in an escape route he said his mother taught him. The 30-year-old woman died in the predawn blaze, which firefighters said began in a floor heater.

Her 29-year-old boyfriend suffered from smoke inhalation and was in serious condition Monday at St. Mary Medical Center, hospital spokesman Tom McCullough said.

It was the fourth death caused by a heater accident since a cold spell gripped Southern California more than a week ago.

In Alliance, Ohio, two brothers, ages 18 and 20, were killed Sunday and another man was injured in a fire in the upstairs apartment of a 2 1/2 -story building, a fire official said.

An 18-year-old man in the apartment was treated for smoke inhalation at Alliance Community Hospital and released, Fire Lt. Kenneth Schott said.

Investigators on Monday blamed a stove burner that was left on as the cause of a fire late Friday that killed six children in Pleasantville, Ohio. The blaze also injured a woman who was the mother of three of the children and the aunt of the others.

The 28-year-old woman was in satisfactory condition Monday in the coronary care unit at Lancaster-Fairfield Community Hospital.

The six children, aged 6 months to 7 years old, were found together in a second-floor bedroom. They apparently suffered smoke inhalation, said William Hammond, chief of the Pleasant and Walnut Township Fire Department.

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