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SEAL BEACH : Woman Burned in Duplex Fire Dies

One of two people who ran through a wall of flames while attempting to escape their burning home earlier this month has died, officials said Monday.

Gay Kenyon, 24, died at 3:41 p.m. Sunday in the UCI Medical Center burn unit. She had been receiving treatment in the burn unit since the March 17 fire.

Kenyon suffered second- and third-degree burns over 40% of her body when she and her boyfriend, 35-year-old Ralph Royston, leaped through flames to reach the stairway of the burning duplex.

Neighbors who witnessed the early morning fire said Kenyon sustained burns over much of her back, neck and shoulders.

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Royston remained in critical condition Monday, showing no signs of improvement since he was admitted, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Meanwhile, fire officials said that they have still not pinpointed what caused the blaze but that they now believe that it started on the living room couch.

The fire was able to spread quickly because most of the furniture in the duplex was made of highly flammable wicker, said County Fire Department spokeswoman Kathleen Cha.

Cha said the cause may not be determined until Royston is in good enough condition to be interviewed. The investigation so far suggests that the blaze was accidental, she added.

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