By Shawn Chitnis

BENNETT, Colo. (CBS4) – A woman was hospitalized with second-degree burns on nearly a third of her body after a fire broke out at a home in Bennett Sunday.

The woman was injured while trying to put out the fire, according to officials with the Bennett-Watkins Fire District.

(credit: Bridgette Cumley/Bennett-Watkins Fire District)

“There were flames shooting out the door and outside of the roof and the side of the building,” said Galen Barenberg, a neighbor that lives next door. “It was just a horrendous fire.”

Barenberg said the woman was on fire when she ran out of the home.

“I know my friend down the street here actually extinguished the lady ‘cause she was on fire,” said Barenberg. “Thanks to him, he pretty well saved her life.”

(credit: Bridgette Cumley/Bennett-Watkins Fire District)

Firefighters and neighbors explained the flames spread quickly covering much of the house. The roof was severely damaged and much of the inside was destroyed. People on scene described hearing some sort of noise before noticing the fire.

“I did hear a loud bang,” said Barenberg. I didn’t know what it was.”

(credit: Bridgette Cumley/Bennett-Watkins Fire District)

The woman lived in the house with two teenagers on the 200 block of Cherry Street and ran a business out of the home, according to the Bennett-Watkins Fire District.

Firefighters went inside and gathered some personal belongings for the family. It’s not clear if or when the family will be able to go back inside the home.

(credit: CBS viewer Rob Cochran)

Crews boarded up the home Sunday night and secured the property. Firefighters cannot say if the home is a total loss but say the home is not in a condition for anyone to live in for now.

Barenberg has lived in the area for almost 17 years and cannot remember a fire that injured someone as badly as the one he saw next door on Sunday.

“I just hope the family is OK and she’s going to be OK,” he said.

Shawn Chitnis reports for CBS4 News at 10 on weekends and CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. throughout the week. Email him story ideas at and connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.


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