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Burns killed woman in Templeton house fire, autopsy shows

An autopsy showed that a Templeton woman died from fatal burns after her house caught fire earlier this week, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department.

Dorothy Thorne Hubbs, 85, reportedly escaped the home with her husband after a propane wall heater set a cloth-covered chair on fire.

Investigators believe she may have gone back inside, Cal Fire Capt. Chad Zrelak said, but there’s no evidence to determine why.

It’s also undetermined if Hubbs lost consciousness prior to her death.

Zrelak said Hubbs’ husband, Earl, went back into the ranch-style house at 4225 S. El Pomar Road with a water hose to extinguish the fire before it spread.

When the hose couldn’t reach the fire, he came back outside and found his wife wasn’t there.

The couple originally escaped through the east side of the house. When she was found, Dorothy Hubbs’ body was outside on the west side of the home — a possible sign that she went back in and escaped through another door.

Friends described her as a sweet and thoughtful woman who was at one time, a fixture at monthly luncheons for neighbors in the rural North County community.

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