Heating pad fire burns woman, 85

November 12, 1991

An 85-year-old Northeast Baltimore woman was critically injured last night when a heating pad started a fire in a chair in which she was sitting, fire investigators said.

Albina Faimann of the 4200 block of Parkmont Avenue near Belair Road was in the burn unit of the Francis Scott Key Medical Center last night with second-degree burns on both arms and shoulders and suffering from smoke inhalation, Fire Capt. John Griffith said.

Ms. Faimann was sitting in a recliner in the middle room of her two-story home, where she lived alone, when the heating pad she was using apparently malfunctioned and caught the chair on fire shortly before 9 p.m. A next-door neighbor called 911 when he saw the glow of the flames in the window, Captain Griffith said.

Firefighters from the first units to arrive entered the house and found Ms. Faimann on the floor. "They had to crawl in and find her," Captain Griffith said. "It was a matter of timing. If it had been any longer, it might have been more severe than what we have."

The fire, which was extinguished in about 10 minutes, caused about $10,500 damage.

Captain Griffith said it is common for heating pads to crunch up, resulting in a concentration of very high temperatures that can cause fires.

Ms. Faimann did have a smoke detector in the house, and it was sounding when firefighters arrived.

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