A Salt Lake police officer on routine patrol Tuesday morning saw smoke billowing from a home and was injured when he rushed inside and rescued a woman.

Kay Brown, 824 S. Roberta (240 East), was listed in critical condition at LDS Hospital after she was pulled from the burning house by Officer Christopher A'hearn. A'hearn was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene and taken to Holy Cross Hospital for additional treatment, said Battalion Chief Gordon Nicholl, Salt Lake City Fire Department."It was a very dangerous move on his part," Nicholl said. "He saved her life."

Some 24 firefighters responded to the blaze and had the fire under control by 7 a.m. Two engines initially responded, then a third engine was requested to help keep the fire from spreading to the house next door, which is only two to threefeet away from the house that burned, Nicholl said.

Smoke and flames were shooting 15 to 20 feet in the air and were shooting from windows on the main floor and from a window in the house's open attic when firefighters arrived, Nicholl said. The fire was contained to one room on the main floor and then extinguished.

A'hearn's rescue is the second in less than two weeks by a Salt Lake police officer. On Sept. 24 Salt Lake police officer James R. Nelson rescued a 63-year-old woman from a seventh-story apartment at a government housing complex.

A'hearn was on routine patrol when he spotted the fire and reported it at 6:43 a.m. before he rushed into the house, Nicholl said. Officers at the scene of the fire did not know whether Brown was awake or trying to get out at the time of the rescue.

The cause of the fire was still unknown later Tuesday morning. Damage to the home was estimated at between $15,000 and $20,000.