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A 75-year-old woman died late Tuesday night in Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, about 11 hours after her oxygen tank burst open during a fire in her Linwood Avenue home.

Willie Lee Weathers of 723 Linwood was taken to the medical center after she was rescued from the burning house by Fire Capt. Mark Gray and Firefighter David Barr.

She suffered third-degree burns to 45 percent of her body, including her face, neck, chest and both arms.

The fire started at 12:31 p.m., apparently while Weathers was on the telephone with a neighbor, Battalion Chief John Fitzpatrick said.

The neighbor heard something and became suspicious when Weathers did not continue the conversation. Checking the house, he saw the fire and called for help, Fitzpatrick said.

Upon arrival, Barr and Gray went into the house, walked through the burning living room and found Weathers, overcome and badly burned, near the stairway leading to a side door. They pulled her out while other firefighters started fighting the blaze, he said.

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