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Originally published Wednesday, January 10, 2007 at 12:00 AM

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Officials think burned woman attempted suicide

Fire investigators believe a woman found severely burned inside an elevator at a Seattle hotel early Tuesday tried to commit suicide. The woman, who hasn't...

Seattle Times staff reporter

Fire investigators believe a woman found severely burned inside an elevator at a Seattle hotel early Tuesday tried to commit suicide.

The woman, who hasn't been identified, was found inside the elevator at the Marriott-Waterfront with burns to 60 percent of her body, said Seattle fire Lt. Sue Stangl. She was listed in satisfactory condition Tuesday afternoon at Harborview Medical Center.

Firefighters had been called to the hotel, at 2100 Alaskan Way, at 12:40 a.m. as alarms sent guests scurrying down to the lobby.

George Stenberg and his girlfriend were watching television inside their fifth-floor hotel room when they smelled smoke and heard the alarms.

"It was pretty scary," said Stenberg, of Hoodsport, Mason County. "We heard the alarm going off, and we quickly dressed and went out."

When Stenberg and Kim Anson opened the door to their room, they were surrounded by white smoke and an acrid stench. Stenberg headed toward a pile of burning clothes and stomped on them with his sneakers. He said he had the fire out in about 30 seconds.

The woman was found inside the elevator on the fifth floor. Stenberg said he hadn't seen the woman who was believed to have discarded the clothing.

Seattle police said the injured woman was a guest at the hotel.

The Marriott-Waterfront declined to comment.

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or jensullivan@seattletimes.com

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