A Raytown woman was badly burned in a house fire Saturday morning.
Firefighters initially thought the woman's 21-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son also were inside the home. But just before noon Saturday, Raytown fire officials said the woman and boy weren't home and have been found.
Their mother was taken to an area hospital before she was transferred to the University of Kansas Hospital's burn center where she remains in critical condition. A neighbor said Lisa Smallwood suffered third-degree burns over 30 percent of her body, but she is expected to recover.
Neighbors said Smallwood and her family moved into the home three years ago. They said she was a friendly and popular woman who brought neighbors closer together.
The fire was reported at 3:30 a.m. at 6820 Vermont Street and was battled by 32 firefighters from the Raytown and Kansas City fire departments.
Neighbor Will Austin said firefighters moved quickly to rescue Smallwood from a bedroom once they arrived on scene.
"They saved her life," Austin said."She's burned pretty bad. She has a long way to go with her burns and her lungs."
Still he knew her primary concern would be her children, and he was relieved they weren't at home.
"When that house was burning, it was as if my kids were in there. We were frantic to do something," Austin said. "You try to stay calm and cooperate with the emergency guys, but you're frantic, especially when they brought her you, you're thinking, 'My God, I hope they're not in there.'"
The home was destroyed and the total damage is estimated at $120,000.
"The damage to the home is extensive," according to a post on the Raytown Fire Department's blog.
Neighbors hope to help the family out during their difficult time.
"I think the whole neighborhood is in shock," Austin said. "She brought the whole neighborhood together."
Austin said the family is optimistic about her recovery because of the expertise of the staff at the KU Burn Center. She will need several surgeries.
The fire started in the kitchen and the cause was accidental.
A passerby reported the fire by calling 911 via cellphone.
The home did not have working smoke detectors.
A fund has been set up for Smallwood. Donations may be made at any area Blue Ridge Bank & Trust.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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