LEIMERT PARK (CBSLA.com) — A woman suffered critical burns Friday in a gas explosion that blew out windows on both stories of her South Los Angeles home, officials reported.
The incident occurred shortly after 6 a.m. at 4329 S. 9th Avenue, according to L.A. City Fire spokesman Dave Ortiz.
The 79-year-old woman sustained critical burns to 40 percent of her face and body and was transported to a hospital.
“She was in shock though … in shock. It was so horrific, you could just see her skin falling off,” Consuelo Cooper told KNX 1070′s Pete Demetriou.
The victim was listed in critical but stable condition.
CBS2′s Louisa Hodge spoke to the victim’s son, Albert Smith. He said his mother made a frantic call to him, while she was on fire. “It was so quick, and she was in so much pain,” said Smith.
His main concern, of course, is his mother’s health. “She’s stable, she’s heavily sedated. Near a coma, I guess.”
The victim told firefighters she had smelled a gas odor in her laundry room two days before the blast. Neighbors also confirmed they had smelled gas coming from the woman’s home for the past couple of days.
Authorities believe the explosion may have also been caused by malfunctioning equipment.