Neighbors Save Elderly Woman From Texas Fire

An elderly woman was pulled from her burning home by neighbors on the city's southwest side, and firefighters Friday night called the woman's rescuer a hero.

Arson investigators are trying to determine the cause.

They believe the fire started in a front room at a home in the 300 block of Bradley Street, and that was where the victim was found.

"When I opened the door, she was right there by the entrance. That's as far as she made it," said the woman's rescuer and neighbor.

The man, who would identify himself only as Tim, said he didn't think twice about going into his elderly neighbor's burning home.

Fighting thick black smoke and intense heat, he first found the woman's walker and then felt her body.

He grabbed her clothes and pulled her out, burning his hands as he reached for her walker.

Another neighbor arrived and helped him pull her to the sidewalk.

The woman was identified by neighbors as Isabel Santa Cruz, who is believed to be in her 80s.

Neighbors said she lived alone, and, since her husband died, everyone has watched out for her by doing odd jobs for her.

They said she is a diabetic and has cataracts, making it difficult for her to get around.

On Friday night they prayed for her recovery, but they fear the worst after seeing how badly she was burned.

Santa Cruz was transported to Brooke Army Medical Center by Airlife. She is believed to be in critical condition.

Investigators said the woman recently had a smoke detector installed, but they were unsure if it was working.

They also said if it weren't for the neighbor jumping into action, she might not have been pulled out alive.