Woman displaced by Texas high-rise fire dies

AP News
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Posted: Dec 30, 2014 4:35 PM
Woman displaced by Texas high-rise fire dies

CASTLE HILLS, Texas (AP) — A fire that killed five people at a senior-living complex near San Antonio may have claimed the life of another resident who died Tuesday but wasn't hospitalized after the weekend blaze, authorities said.

A 71-year-old woman displaced by the fire at the Wedgwood Apartments died after complaining about shortness of breath, Bexar County spokeswoman Laura Jesse said. She had been staying at a hotel along with other Wedgwood residents since the blaze Sunday morning.

The woman's death may be related to the fire but investigators have not yet made any determination, said Rebecca Hawley, an office assistant for the Bexar County medical examiner.

The cause of the fire at the 11-story apartment building in Castle Hills remains under investigation. More than a dozen people were hospitalized.

Of the five people whose deaths have been linked to the fire, one victim was 85 and the others were in their 70s.

Authorities say the fire appeared to have started on the third floor. Castle Hills City Manager Diane Pfeil has said the last fire inspection took place in September and the building had no history of fires.

No sprinkler system was installed when the structure was built in 1965, according to Pfeil. Rules now require such sprinklers but the building, home to about 350 people, was grandfathered, allowing it to keep operating without them.