Woman, 88, dies in city apartment after accidentally setting self on fire

February 04, 2003|By Kimball Payne | Kimball Payne,SUN STAFF

An 88-year-old woman died early yesterday in her North Baltimore apartment after accidentally setting herself on fire and unsuccessfully trying to extinguish the flames in her bathroom, city officials said.

Firefighters found the woman, identified as Edith Silberg Borden, dead from burns and smoke inhalation in a bathtub filled with water in her apartment in the 200 block of Cross Keys Road, officials said.

Officials said a trail of burning clothes was found leading from the kitchen, where the fire apparently originated about 6 a.m. Kevin Cartwright, a department spokesman, said the cause of the fire was under investigation.

Family members and friends said that Borden was mostly homebound after suffering a heart attack in July.

She was going to hold a luncheon yesterday for friends.

"She was very active and interested in the classical things," said Rose Weinstein, a friend.

Borden was born and raised in Baltimore and was a city schoolteacher. Later, she worked as an administrator for her husband, a doctor who died in 1983, relatives said.

"She was a lovely lady, a source of comfort and advice to many of my father's patients, even though she was not a doctor," said John S. Borden, 55, of Larchmont, N.Y., one of her two sons. "She was very sociable and she had a good sense of humor."

In mid-January, Borden's two sons took her to dinner at her favorite restaurant, Linwood's, in Owings Mills. At the dinner, John Borden said, she was eager to visit the Baltimore Museum of Art and the symphony.

Sun staff writer Del Quentin Wilber contributed to this article.

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