PASADENA - A fire caused by careless smoking broke out Wednesday at a Pasadena apartment complex, killing a woman and her cat and causing $175,000 in damage, authorities said.
The fire broke out at a two-story apartment complex in the 300 block of West California Boulevard around 2 a.m. and was extinguished 10 minutes later by some 30 firefighters, said Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian.
According to an investigator's preliminary finding, the victim fell asleep on a couch while smoking and the apartment was not equipped with smoke detectors, Derderian said.
Firefighters arrived at the scene five minutes after getting the call, found the victim in full cardiac arrest and could not revive her, she said.
"The fire was contained to the room and (its) contents, so it was quickly extinguished upon arrival," Derderian said.
The victim was alone in the apartment with her cat, which firefighters resuscitated using special equipment designed for pets. But the animal later died, she said.
There were smoke detectors in the hallway, which alerted other residents to the fire.
The fire caused about $175,000 in damage to the structure and the contents of the stricken apartment, Derderian said.