Harrison Township woman dies after falling into fireplace

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Harrison Township woman dies after falling into fireplace

Postby Wilberforce » Sun Dec 29, 2013 7:32 pm

Harrison Township woman dies after falling into fireplace
9:08 PM, December 28, 2013 |

A Harrison Township woman who was severely burned after apparently falling into her fireplace has died.

Friends said 56-year-old Linda Westen died this morning at Detroit Receiving Hospital’s burn center after her family had her taken off life support.

Authorities said Westen either was lighting a cigarette or putting a cigarette in the fireplace when the accident happened around 5:21 p.m. Thursday at her home on Mast Street. A son, who was upstairs, ran to her aid, dousing her with water and eventually wrapping her in a rug to put out the flames.

The woman had been able to speak to authorities after the accident, Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said.

Neighbors said Westen was a welcoming woman who loved holding gatherings and going to the beach.

Debbie Kehrig said Westen had get-togethers every Christmas Eve to which she would invite family as well as neighbors.

“She just loved life,” Kehrig said.

Cindy McLaughlin said she and Westen often would take their personal watercrafts to nearby Lake St. Clair for afternoon rides. She described Westen as her best friend, saying she would “give you her last dollar if you needed it.”

McLaughlin said she visited Westen in the hospital Friday, where she was told Westen might not survive her injuries. Authorities said Westen had been burned over 50% of her body, but McLaughlin said she was told it was close to 85%.

“The toll it took on her, it didn’t really look good,” she said. “It would have been a long road back.”

Westen leaves behind a husband and three adult sons. Funeral arrangements are incomplete.

Contact Marlon A. Walker: 313-223-4531 or mwalker@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @marlonawalker.

http://www.freep.com/article/20131228/N ... -fireplace
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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