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El Paso Man Burned in Fire

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POSTED: Saturday, March 20, 2010 - 7:47pm

UPDATED: Saturday, March 20, 2010 - 9:53pm

An elderly El Paso man is in the hospital with critical burns. Neighbors tell us Arnufo Neria is a World War II veteran, and a nice guy that they all know very well.

Fire broke out at his home in the Lower Valley this morning. Firefighters rushed to the 7800 block of Madrid Way and found flames coming from a back bedroom. 77-year-old Arnugo Neria suffered burns all over his body. A woman neighbors identify as his wife was also burned.

"The lady has burns to her hands and face," said Mario Hernandez, of the El Paso Fire Department. "At this time we're encouraging her to go to the hospital to get herself checked out because it was a pretty hot, intense fire. Firefighters pulled them out quickly, get them out safely. Unfortunately, the elderly male is in very serious condition at this time."

Investigators blame the fire on careless smoking. The flames caused $40,000 damage. There was a smoke detector in the home but it had no batteries.

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