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Critically injured woman dies day after Escondido house fire, raising death toll to 2

A woman who was critically injured in a house fire died Wednesday, a day after she was trapped inside a burning Escondido home along with a man who was also fatally injured, fire officials said.

Details about the woman and her death were not immediately available, but Escondido Fire Department spokesperson Jeff Murdock confirmed Wednesday night that she had died.

The other victim, a man, died Tuesday evening, shortly after a blaze broke out around 5:10 p.m. at the home on West 11th Avenue near South Orange Street, Murdock said.

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and flames while battling the blaze, and went inside when witnesses told them two people might be trapped, Murdock said Tuesday.

The firefighters searching for the trapped residents were “hampered by a large accumulation of belongings” but ultimately found the woman and pulled her out of the home, Escondido fire Battalion Chief Britt Matthews wrote in a news release. A few minutes later, firefighters found a man inside the home and moved him outside.

Both had suffered severe burns and smoke-inhalation injuries, Murdock said. Paramedics took them to Palomar Medical Center, where the man died Tuesday evening and the woman was hospitalized overnight in critical condition before succumbing to her injuries some time Wednesday.

The county Medical Examiner’s Office did not release the victim’s names Wednesday. NBC7, citing family members, reported the victims were a married couple in their 80s. Public records showed a couple in their 80s have lived in the home for more than 45 years.

Escondido police detectives and Fire Department investigators were probing the cause of the blaze, Matthews wrote Tuesday. It was unknown Wednesday night if investigators had pinpointed what sparked the fire.

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