February 15, 2013

Portland woman dies from burn injuries after weekend fire

By Jessica Hall jhall@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

A Portland woman who was badly burned in a weekend fire at her home died at a Boston hospital Friday, the State Fire Marshal's Office said.

click image to enlarge

Portland firefighters monitor the house on Burnside Avenue after extinguishing a fire there Sunday. Julia Ball, who tried to extinguish the blaze, died on Friday, Feb. 15, 2012, according to the State Fire Marshal's Office.

Derek Davis / Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Firefighters from Portland put out a blaze in North Deering on Sunday afternoon. A woman in her 50s was badly burned and taken to the hospital, and died on Friday, Feb. 15, 2012, according to the State Fire Marshal's Office.

Photo courtesy of the Portland Fire Department

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Julia Ball, 56, of 250 Burnside Ave., was flown by LifeFlight helicopter from Maine Medical Center to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. She had suffered burns on 70 to 80 percent of her body.

The fire started in the living room. Investigators with the State Fire Marshal's Office previously said it may have started when smoking materials fell into the couch.

When Ball discovered the fire she called her sister then tried to put out the fire herself, investigators said. When her sister arrived, Ball was outside and on fire and her sister put the fire out.

The fire broke out just before noon and firefighters were able to save the building but the living room was extensively damaged.

Sgt. Joel Davis, of the State Fire Marshal's Office, previously said the home did have working smoke detectors and Ball was apparently awake. He said extinguishers at the house had not been discharged and investigators do not know how she was trying to put out the fire.

Investigators were unable to interview Ball in the days after the fire because of her condition.

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