Investigators: Cigarette sparked fire killing elderly woman

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OCEANSIDE, Calif. -- Firefighters found the body of a 71-year-old Oceanside woman early Monday while putting out a fire that spread through her mobile home.

The blaze in the 200 block of North El Camino Real erupted about 12:45 a.m., fire Battalion Chief Joe Ward said. It took crews about 20 minutes to extinguish the flames.

Preliminary evidence suggested that the blaze was sparked by a cigarette the woman, identified by San Diego County Medical Examiner as Francis Crutchfield, was smoking in bed, according to police.

A man escaped the fire by jumping out a window. His aunt was found in a back bedroom. The victim, whose name was withheld pending family notification, died at the scene despite medics' lifesaving efforts, Ward said.

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