San Gabriel Valley : Woman in Critical Condition After Fire That Killed Girl

A West Covina woman was listed in critical condition Thursday after suffering severe burns in an accidental house fire that killed a 2-year-old girl, authorities said.

Elsa Villegas, 37, was under surveillance by burn specialists from County-USC Medical Center, a hospital spokesperson said.

Villegas received second- and third-degree burns on her hands and face Wednesday afternoon as she tried to carry her 2-year-old niece, Carla Cervera, out of their burning home on the 1800 block of Woodgate Drive.

Villegas was unable to rescue the toddler, and firefighters found the dead girl near a door by the garage, said West Covina Police Officer Rudy Lopez.

Eleven people from two families lived in the single-family house, which went up in flames after one of the residents, a 5-year-old boy, accidentally set fire to the Christmas tree, fire officials said.

The Fire Department is collecting toys for the children and financial donations to help with Carla's funeral arrangements, said Fire Chief Richard Greene. Donations can be brought to any West Covina fire station. . . .

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