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One of the city's oldest restaurateurs was critically burned Friday evening in a kitchen fire at her business.

Rose Cala, 82, was preparing to open Cala's Restaurant at 796 E. Second St. just before 5 p.m. when the accident occurred.

"She apparently was trying to move a burning pan of oil when she suffered severe burns to her hands and her face," Assistant Fire Chief Alton Phillips said.

Miss Cala suffered second- and third-degree burns over about 20 percent of her body. She is in critical condition at the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo.

Officials said the fire extinguished itself.

An employee, who came in minutes later, found Miss Cala and called an ambulance.

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