Woman Trying to Rescue Family From Fire Killed

A Monterey Park woman trying to rescue her landlord's family from their burning house died Thursday morning when she became trapped by flames and intense heat, authorities said.

Patricia Munoz, 27, died of asphyxiation minutes after entering the wood and stucco house at 801 S. Garfield Ave. Munoz lived with her mother in an apartment behind the house. The residents of the house all had escaped safely, but authorities said Munoz apparently thought some of them were still inside.

Battalion Chief Ernest Pruett said faulty electrical wiring--made dangerous by too many Christmas decorations and candles nearby--may have triggered the blaze, which caused an estimated $150,000 in damage. The five residents of the house suffered minor burns.

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