An Alexandria woman was severely burned Saturday night while trying to light a recreational outdoor fireplace, according to Alexandria Fire Department officials.

Emergency personnel responded to the 300 block of North Fayette Street shortly after 9 p.m. for a reported explosion and flames on a patio, officials said.

When they arrived, they found the 53-year-old woman with second and third degree burns over 80 percent of her body, according to the fire department.

Officials said it appeared that the woman was trying to start a fire in a metal fireplace when an  accumulation of vapors ignited, causing a flash fire.

 The woman was taken to MedStar Burn Center in Washington. Her condition was not known Sunday, according to officials.

 Jeff Merryman, a spokesman for the fire department, said the investigation of the incident is ongoing.