Woman burned trying to battle fire

January 25, 2009 7:23:06 PM PST
A woman was seriously burned when the east Houston home she was in when up in flames. She'd tried to fight the fire herself. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Neighbors rushed to help when they saw the home off Pennsylvania and Midway catch fire Sunday afternoon. Mary Smith ran to call 911.

"It was high, real high," she said. "I thought it was going to hit the neighbor's home."

Firefighters say they believe the fire started in a middle room and may have been sparked by a gas heater. The daughter of the homeowner was the only one there. Fire crews say she was trying to extinguish it herself with a garden hose.

"When we arrived, the ambulance crew already had the resident in the ambulance and transported her to Hermann Hospital," said Houston Fire Department District Chief Daniel Kopfensteiner.

The fire was simply too much. Dimetria Criff says her sister was taken away by ambulance with burns to her face, arms and chest.

"My sister, I don't know how bad she is, but she got burned real badly," said Criff. "We're trying to see what condition she's in."

Criff says this is a very sad day for her family.

"It's very devastating," she said. "This is a family home. We grew up here, and it really hurts."

Relatives say what they're very thankful for is that none of the grandchildren who regularly visit the home were there when it went up in flames.

The woman who was taken tot he hospital has burns on the front of her body. At this time, we have no word on her condition.

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