Seattle firefighters save life of woman trapped in burning home

SEATTLE -- Seattle firefighters saved the life of an elderly woman who was trapped inside her burning North Seattle home Tuesday afternoon.

The fire broke out just after noon Tuesday at a home in the 11700 block of 22nd Ave. NE, said Kyle Moore with the Seattle Fire Department.

"When we arrived, there was a thick column of black smoke coming from the one story home... flames shooting from the front porch, and flames shooting from the front room," Moore said.

An 88-year-old man who had been inside the home came out covered in soot to tell firefighters his 83-year-old wife was still inside a front room of the burning home.

Firefighters raced inside and found the woman had made it into a bathtub, but was unconscious, not breathing and had no pulse.

"We brought her outside and immediately initiated CPR," Moore said. Medics then rushed the woman to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle as firefighters continued CPR in the ambulance.

"On the way to the hospital we were able to get her heart beating again and get a blood pressure," Moore said. She's currently at Harborview in critical condition with second-degree burns to her face and legs.

During the rescue of his wife, the husband went around back and entered the home's basement, Moore said, and a second fire crew had to go in and rescue him from the home. He was also taken to Harborview for treatment of smoke inhalation and some singed hair but was in stable condition and expected to recover, Moore said.

Investigators said later Tuesday the fire was started by improperly discarded smoking materials. Damage is estimated at $150,000.