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Fire kills 3, including firefighter battling first blaze

February 7, 1997

STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) _ A burning house collapsed and killed two firefighters Thursday. A third body was believed to be the elderly woman who lived there.

One of the firefighters had been battling his first blaze.

Firefighters were searching for the woman when a second-story addition in the back gave way.

Killed were firemen Bryan Jacob Golden, 21, and Brett Allan Laws, 29, a seven-year veteran. A third firefighter suffered burns and broken ribs.

``He was extremely dedicated,″ Capt. Bill Costanza said of Golden. ``He would work until midnight learning the equipment and he was looking forward to his first fire.″

The woman was not immediately identified.

Stockton is about 70 miles east of San Francisco.

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