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Former Jeopardy champ hurt in fire

NEW YORK, July 3 (UPI) -- Brian Levinson, who won nearly $73,000 three years ago on "Jeopardy," was seriously injured in a fire in his New York apartment, his father said.

Levinson, 33, and a friend, Eric Broomfield, were sleeping in Levinson's Woodside, Queens, apartment when the fire broke out early Saturday morning, the New York Daily News reported.

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The two were taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Levinson had burns on about 12 percent of his body, mostly to his face and arms, said his father, Bob Levinson. Broomfield was less seriously injured.

"He said his face was burned," said Bob Levinson. "He's having trouble talking."

"He said he just woke up in the middle of the night, and the apartment was on fire," said Levinson's friend John Yasgur, 33, who spoke to him on the phone. "He just woke up, and there was smoke everywhere."

Another friend and trivia buff said Levinson is the smartest person he knows. Levinson, a Yale University graduate also won money on the cable television program "Cash Cab."

"He's the smartest guy I know," said friend Jonathan Corbblah, 31. Corbblah is a fellow "Jeopardy" winner who plays trivia games with Levinson at a local candy store. "He has instant and total recall. He can remember the most obscure and arcane details."

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Broomfield, who is also known as "Jellyboy the Clown," was staying with Levinson while in town for a performance at Coney Island.

The cause of the blaze is unknown. It took firefighters about 40 minutes to extinguish the fire.

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