A 77-year-old Texas City woman who friends say was devoted to her seven cats died while trying to rescue her cats from her burning house.

Firefighters found the body of Mary Lou Henry in a hallway. She was still holding one of her cats. That cat and another also died in the fire early yesterday.

Texas City Fire Marshal Kelly Rothrock says the fire was probably started when one of the woman's cats knocked over a burning decorative candle in the living room. He says the candled fell on a stack of papers and magazines. He speculated that Henry tried to put out the fire and save her pets when she died.

Emergency medics administered oxygen to two other cats. They're now at a veterinary clinic. A fifth cat has been taken in by family members. Henry's daughter, Kathy Patterson, says two other cats are missing.