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Woman sets off home explosion in suicide attempt

REDDING, Calif. (AP) -- A woman who says she tried to kill herself by flooding her home with natural gas sparked an early morning explosion that sent her to the hospital with severe burns and rattled her Redding neighborhood, authorities said Monday.

Redding police said the 51-year-old woman told them she tried to commit suicide by lighting a flame in her gas-filled house, according to the Redding Record-Searchlight (http://bit.ly/1cQ8gqs ).

The blast was reported at 2:30 a.m. by numerous people in the neighborhood.

Redding Fire inspector Patrick O'Connor on Monday said he is wrapping up his investigation.

He said the cause of the blaze has been delayed because he hasn't been able to talk to the woman and still needs to confirm some facts.

O'Connor would not release the woman's name, but he said that the home had significant damage, with 75 percent of the structure affected by the explosion and fire.

The woman was transported to Mercy Medical Center with severe burns and later transferred to the burn center at the University of California, Davis.

Michelle Stein, who lives next door, told the Record-Searchlight that she looked out her window, thinking her home might have been struck by lightning, when she saw a flash fire.

She said her neighbor looked disoriented _ her hair singed to her head _ as she wandered outside in front of the house.

Arriving firefighters found a house fully engulfed in flames and a woman standing in front of the house.

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