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Woman hurt in house fire dies

WICHITA — A 55-year-old woman has died from the injuries she suffered when she fell asleep while smoking in her south Wichita home earlier this week, officials said.

She died at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the burn unit of Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis, Wichita Fire Capt. Stuart Bevis said. Her name has not been released pending notification of relatives.

The fire was reported just after 4 p.m. Wednesday in the 4500 block of South Oak, near Seneca and 43rd South. It started when the woman fell asleep in a chair while she was smoking, Bevis said.

Two people spotted the fire and intervened, he said. One tried to put the fire out with a garden hose from the front of the house, he said, while the second entered the house through a back door and attempted to rescue the woman.

The second man was taken to Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis, where he was treated for smoke inhalation and released.

The woman who lived at the house was not breathing when firefighters arrived, Bevis said, but she was revived while en route to the burn unit at the hospital.

The fire caused an estimated $30,000 in damage to the house and its contents, Bevis said.

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