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Elderly woman seriously injured in Salt Lake City house fire

SALT LAKE CITY — A house fire seriously injured an elderly woman Tuesday evening, fire officials said.

The fire began on the outside of a home at 925 W. McFarland Drive (835 North), according to the Salt Lake City Fire Department. The agency said an elderly woman, the only resident at the home, suffered burns and smoke inhalation.

She was transported to the burn unit at University Hospital in serious condition. Her condition was later said to be improving, investigators said.

Neighbors who first noticed flames and smoke in the woman's backyard were able to evacuate her from the home, according to the fire department.

"One (person) tried to enter the house, but the smoke was too much," said Salt Lake Fire Capt. Mark Bednarik, adding that the woman appeared to be confused. "They kept calling until she came out to them."

Bednarik said the woman is being for smoke inhalation, and burns that are less serious.

Firefighters were still working on dousing the fire about 8:30 p.m. It was contained to the back patio of the home, where it caused an estimated $5,000 to $10,000 in damage.

"Investigators have determined that the fire was accidental and caused by improperly discarded smoking materials on the rear patio," the fire department said on Twitter.

The heat from the fire broke a window, which is why heavy smoke got inside, according to Bednarik. There was no fire damage inside the home.

— Ben Lockhart, Brianna Bodily