An elderly woman was critically injured in a fire apparently caused by a cigarette at her home in Hayward on Thursday night, a fire department spokesman said today.
The one-alarm fire was reported at 9:14 p.m. and was extinguished six minutes later, fire Capt. LaShon Earnest said.
The 81-year-old victim suffered second- and third-degree burns to her hand, forearm and face and is in critical condition, Earnest said.
The woman is a known smoker and investigators believe she may have fallen asleep while smoking in her living room, leading the fire to ignite from her cigarette, according to Earnest.
She was unable to put out the blaze and retreated to a rear bedroom where responding firefighters found her, Earnest said.