Pasadena woman critically injured in fire

PASADENA, TX It happened around 1am at a home on Blueberry and Everglade in Pasadena. Bennie Mae Cunningham, 75, remains in critical condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital with third degree burns to more than a third to her body. But her son says she will survive, thanks to the firefighters who rescued her from her burning home.

"It was so hot," said Bennie Mae's son, Larry Cunningham.

Larry says he bolted out of bed when he woke up to find his mattress on fire early this morning.

"The room was completely just black. I couldn't see anything," he said.

Larry told Eyewitness News he and his son, Travis, first tried to extinguish the flames, and then started dragging the mattress downstairs to get it out of the house. But in the stairwell, the fire flared up and Larry realized too late his mother was still upstairs, now trapped behind a wall of heavy smoke.

"I tried to go through the fire and it was just so hot. I couldn't even...but it was mom," he said.

Family members warned firefighters that she was trapped up there and sent them racing to save her.

"The second floor was pretty unobtainable, but the firefighters immediately went to the second floor as we had reports she was up there and they went straight to her," said Chief Lanney Armstrong with the Pasadena Fire Department. "They rescued her pretty quick."

Firefighters say they found Bennie Mae and pulled her out. She was taken by Life Flight to Memorial Hermann Hospital where she is still listed in critical condition.

This morning, Larry worked to salvage what he could from his house. He found a picture of his mother in her youth from the burned out home.

Fire marshals say investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the fire. Larry and Travis were the only other two people inside the home with their mother. They both got out with just minor injuries.

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