Update, Jan. 17: The Berkeley Fire Department has just confirmed that an 80-year-old woman who sustained severe burns last week in a cooking fire in her apartment has died. BFD officials learned of the fatality Tuesday morning. The Berkeley Scanner will attempt to learn more.
Original story: A woman in her 80s was taken to a San Francisco hospital with significant burn injuries Wednesday evening after her robe appears to have been set ablaze by an electric hot plate in her West Berkeley apartment, authorities report.
The Berkeley Fire Department was dispatched at 5:15 p.m. to the four-story apartment building at San Pablo Avenue and Blake Street for what initially came in as a smoke alarm activation.
But, as it turned out, a local resident also called 911 to report that someone was on fire in the building, said Interim Deputy Fire Chief Keith May. BFD immediately upgraded the call to a full-structure response.
BFD got to the scene at 5:17 p.m. and smelled smoke but saw no fire, according to emergency traffic reviewed by The Berkeley Scanner.
Firefighters were called to the fourth floor of the building for a woman in her 80s who was described as critically injured.
They found the woman standing in the hallway where another resident of the building had doused her with water, authorities said.
The Berkeley Fire Department took the woman to the Bothin Burn Center at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco, according to emergency traffic.
When firefighters went into the woman's apartment to investigate, they found an electric hot plate that was plugged in and sitting on the floor. Nothing in the area had burned.
According to the preliminary investigation, the woman's robe appears to have caught fire from the hot plate on the floor, BFD said.
Police closed several intersections in the area during the emergency response.
This story was updated after publication due to the developing nature of events.