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Fire kills 81-year-old woman at her home in Los Angeles

Fire kills 81-year-old woman at her home in Los Angeles

An 81-year-old woman was killed and burned in her home. L.A. is offering $50,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Los Angeles Times

January 17, 2001

LOS ANGELES — The man who set a fire that killed an 81-year-old woman at her home here Saturday was believed to have been under the influence of drugs, authorities said Sunday.

The fire broke out in an apartment at the 7th and Colorado streets home here late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, said Fire Department Capt. Frank Sarno.

About an hour-and-a-half later, police and firefighters found a woman dead inside the home, Sarno said.

The man who started the fire was identified by police as 58-year-old Gary Ray Gipson, who was in custody Sunday morning in connection with the fire’s cause. He was taken to UCLA Medical Center, where he was treated for burns to his head, face, arms and legs.

He was arrested on suspicion of arson and suspicion of murder, Sarno said.

“We feel very sad for the family,” said LAPD Capt. Mark Wegman. “We’re going to be working closely with the Los Angeles County District Attorney to see if there’s sufficient evidence to charge any of these people.”

Police are not releasing the woman’s name.

The blaze broke out about a block from a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department station that is where deputies are interviewing seven people, including Gipson, Sarno said.

“The fire is under investigation and the fire is being investigated by the Los Angeles County coroner,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Mark Krotzer said.

Fire investigators were examining the house from top to bottom, examining everything within easy reach. Sarno said.

Although it had no sprinkler system, the woman had recently had a window installed

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