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KURT VONNEGUT, AUTHOR, 'STABLE' AFTER FIRE AT HOME

Kurt Vonnegut, the satirical novelist whose darkly humorous works include "Cat's Cradle" and "Slaughterhouse-Five," remained hospitalized today in critical but stable condition after suffering smoke inhalation in a fire at his home.

The blaze was reported at 7 p.m. Sunday in a rear bedroom on the top floor of Vonnegut's four-story East 48th Street brownstone, where the author was home with his wife and a daughter, fire department officials said.

Peggy Sung, a spokesman for New York Presbyterian Hospital, said Vonnegut, who already suffered from emphysema, was in the intensive care unit.

Lily Vonnegut, the author's 17-year-old daughter, said Vonnegut was fine but probably would remain hospitalized for a few days. The 77-year-old writer -- author of 19 novels, dozens of short stories, essays and plays filled with black humor, fantastic plots and often apocalyptic destruction -- had been watching the Super Bowl in his study and had gone downstairs when the fire began.

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