Costa Mesa : Woman Injured in Fire Started by Cigarettes

A Costa Mesa woman suffered first- and second-degree burns on her hands and neck in a fire believed started by cigarettes, authorities said Wednesday.

Sherry Gustafson, 34, was one of eight people in a house in the 2200 block of Puente Avenue when the fire broke out shortly after 11 p.m. Tuesday, Fire Department Battalion Chief Gerald Poarch said Wednesday.

Gustafson was reported in fair condition Wednesday at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, hospital spokeswoman Pam Bolen said.

The fire caused an estimated $35,000 in property damage and $5,000 in damage to its contents, Poarch said. Cigarettes abandoned on the couch were the cause of the fire, which firefighters extinguished in 25 minutes, he said.

Six adults and two children reportedly went to sleep about 9 p.m. and were later awakened when someone outside yelled "Fire!" Poarch said.

The house was not equipped with a smoke detector, he added.

Residents were directed Wednesday to the Red Cross for temporary shelter.

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