PHOENIX - The Phoenix Fire Department says an elderly woman was severely burned in a house fire near N 21st and E Pierce streets.
Fire Capt. Rob McDade says other occupants who were home at the time got out. They attempted to rescue the woman, according to McDade, but smoke and fire pushed the family out.
Firefighters found the woman still inside the home and in her wheelchair Thursday morning.
McDade says she suffered second- and third-degree burns over 70 percent of her body. McDade called the injuries "life-threatening" and said the woman is in critical condition at a local burn unit.
"(It's an) uphill battle for he right now," said McDade.
In addition to the burns, McDade said they are worried about smoke inhalation and the possibility of secondary infection for the victim.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. But firefighters did not find working smoke detectors in the house.
In addition, McDade said some of the family's belongings created obstacles inside the house for firefighters trying to reach the woman.