AUSTIN (KXAN) — A Northwest Austin house fire early Tuesday morning left a woman inside critically hurt. A neighbor who saw smoke called 911 to report the fire at 1:53 a.m. Tuesday. The home is on 4521 Sidereal Drive, which is just off Parmer Lane near MoPac.
When fire crews got to the home, they found the fire on the backside of the two-story home and knocked down the flames. When crews went inside the home, they found the woman — in her 40s — unconscious and unresponsive. They performed CPR on her, and she was taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge in critical condition but has since been flown to a hospital in San Antonio.
“Smoke is what is the killer in most fires. And that’s why smoke alarms are so important,” said Austin Fire Battalion Chief Palmer Buck. “Much quicker than the fire’s going to get to you, the smoke’s going to get to you.”
Fire officials say the woman was surrounded by smoke. She did not appear to have burns, Buck says. Meanwhile, there is no word yet on the cause of the fire.
Neighbors told fire officials that three people live in the home; the woman’s husband and stepson were reported missing in the fire have now been found. Buck says the two were not at home at the time of the fire. Fire crews searched the house and did not find anyone else.
Buck says upon entering the house, there were no smoke alarms going off and the smoke detector in the downstairs area had the batteries taken out. As of just before 7 a.m., fire crews completed their investigation, but at this point, the cause of the fire remains unknown. Meanwhile, fire damage is estimated at $100,000 for the home and $50,000 for the contents.