MANHATTAN — An elderly Harlem woman was in critical condition Thursday after suffering severe burns in her home, fire officials said.
Christina Colaneri, 89, caught fire about 1:20 p.m. in her apartment on Paladino Avenue, according to the FDNY.
"She was calling to the girl that helps her that she was on fire," said a neighbor, who would only identify herself as Yvonne. "The girl threw a bucket of water on her."
Colaneri was taken to Weill Cornell Medical Center for treatment, officials said.
Colaneri's 80-year-old sister, who lives across the courtyard in the Wagner Houses, said she feared something like this would happen.
"I said to myself, 'She's gonna get burned some day,'" the sister said. "I was near the window and I saw the fire trucks come to her building. I knew it was for her. I just had a feeling."
The sister said that she and Colaneri had a falling out about three years ago because Colaneri refused to get a home health aid.
Colaneri currently has a female roommate who helps her, neighbors said, but the woman is not formerly trained.
Neighbors and family members said Colaneri was a heavy smoker, but the fire department did not immediately have information about what caused the fire.