Woman injured trying to rescue dog in fire

March 29, 2009 5:55:09 AM PDT
A woman was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries after she refused to leave her dog behind at a burning apartment complex, even as the units filled with smoke.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

That woman wasn't the only one who didn't want to leave her apartment. The complex is in on South Bartell in southwest Houston.

Authorities told us that a second woman refused to leave her apartment and that police had to be called. As for the victim, she was living in a third-story apartment where the fire was confined. Family members told us that she refused to leave without her pet.

The blaze broke out around 3:15pm Saturday afternoon. When firefighters arrived, they found the victim unconscious inside her apartment.

The complex owner told us that he tried to run up inside to try to get the woman out, but she insisted on going back in. At the time, the owner didn't know why. Family members told us was trying to rescue her pet dog, Minnie, who was still inside. It was a decision that apparently proved to be very costly.

"I'm not surprised that she would do something like that. I know how she feels about this dog. She will risk her own life. That's how much she loves her dog," said the victim's daughter, Charisse Harris.

The victim, Claudia Harris, is said to be in critical condition. Firefighters performed CPR on her as they took her to Memorial-Hermann Hospital.

Arson investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the blaze. One witness believed it started in the kitchen.

We understand no other units were seriously damaged in the complex except for Harris' apartment. As for any other injuries, only one has been reported.

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