WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) – A 63-year-old woman is fighting for her life after suffering serious burns in an overnight house fire in Wilmington, Delaware. Fire officials said she was one of two women who were inside the home at the time of the fire.
Viewer video captured the front of 5 W. Summit Ave. engulfed in intense flames. The call came out around 1:40 a.m. Thursday in Wilmington’s Elmhurst neighborhood, right across the street from the Five Points Fire Company.
“It was a cedar shake house, so the fire took off pretty quickly and spread throughout the house,” said Fire Chief Tom Manley.
Firefighters found a woman in the front yard with severe burn injuries. Paramedics transported her to Christiana Hospital in critical condition. She was later transferred to Crozer Medical Center in Upland, Pennsylvania.
”She’s since been transported to Crozer, with 75% burns to her body,” said Michael Chionchio, assistant state fire marshal.
A second woman also got out of the house on her own and went to the fire house to be treated for minor burns on her arms. Chionchio credits working smoke detectors for saving the women’s lives.
“The smoke alarm woke two people sleeping in the house,” he said. “They wouldn’t have known that there was a fire until the smoke choked them out.”
Crews quickly called for a second alarm to ensure that the fire didn’t spread to neighboring homes. The fire was under control by 2:15 a.m.
Chionchio said being across the street from the fire department saved the property and others from further damage.
“With these older homes it’s all wood and could have had the collapse on the second floor into the first floor, so it’s very beneficial to be right next to the fire company,” he said.
Chionchio estimates some $75,000 in damage to the home. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Anyone with information regarding this fire is asked to contact Delaware Crime Stoppers at (800) TIP-3333.