An apartment fire that left a west Santa Rosa woman with significant burns over a large portion of her body began when she accidentally dropped a hot candle onto a dry Christmas tree and set it ablaze, a fire investigator said Monday.
The burning tree was located near the exit, and the female resident caught fire in her effort to escape, Santa Rosa Fire inspector Marita Petersen said.
She was reported to have second-degree burns, Santa Rosa Fire Battalion Chief Jason Jenkins said.
Her 21-year-old son, who was asleep when the 8:30 p.m. fire started Saturday off Jennings Avenue, managed to climb out of a rear window, Santa Rosa Fire Battalion Chief Matt Gloeckner said. He ran around to the front of the two-story building, where he found his mother still burning, fire officials said.
“He took off his shirt that he was wearing and then put the flames out with his shirt,” Petersen said. “I couldn’t imagine what she was going through. It must have been just horrific.”