Joshua Tree woman rescued after falling asleep while smoking

POSTED: 11:18 AM PDT Aug 05, 2013    UPDATED: 01:18 PM PDT Aug 05, 2013 
JOSHUA TREE, Calif. -

Firefighters rescued a woman from her home in Joshua Tree early Monday morning after she fell asleep while smoking a cigarette, according to authorities.

Apparently, the burning cigarette caused the elderly woman's mattress to catch fire. The woman and a man left the house when they realized what was happening. However, the woman decided to re-enter the burning house in an attempt to save her dog, cat, and other items. She became overwhelmed by the smoke and could not escape

When the man notified crews the she was still inside, firefighters "entered the home to find it completely charged with thick smoke and a fire in one of the rooms," according to a press release. 

Using a Thermal Imaging Camera, firefighters quickly located the woman in the living room and pulled her to safety. Firefighters were also able to rescue the woman's dog.  

She and her companion were both taken to High Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree for evaluation.

Loss to the structure in estimated at $10,000 with a loss to the contents of $10,000.