Local News in Brief : San Juan Capistrano : Woman Burned After Cigarette Starts Fire

A 65-year-old woman suffered burns over 90% of her body Monday morning after she fell asleep in bed while smoking, setting the room on fire, authorities said.

Ilene Brenner was listed in critical condition at the burn center of UCI Medical Center in Orange.

Brenner was reading a newspaper and sipping coffee while lying in bed at her home in the 26900 block of Canyon Crest, according to Patti Range, a spokeswoman for the County Fire Department. Brenner apparently fell asleep and the cigarette ignited the newspaper, Range said.

An automatic fire alarm rang through to the Fire Department at about 11 a.m. and also alerted her husband, who was working in the garden, Range said.

The husband and a friend rushed inside to find Brenner at the end of the hallway with her clothes on fire, Range said. They wrapped her in towels, smothering the flames, before turning a garden hose on the fire in the bedroom. Sixteen county firefighters helped to douse the blaze, which caused an estimated $1,000 in damage.

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