Steelers RB coach Wilson suffers burns in Friday house fire

Pittsburgh Steelers running backs coach Kirby Wilson has been hospitalized after sustaining burns to his arms and legs in a house fire early Friday morning.

Authorities say the fire broke out around 3 a.m. ET in Wilson's home in Seven Fields, a northern Pittsburgh suburb. Firefighters told borough manager Tom Smith the blaze started in the kitchen. The cause of the fire has not been determined and remains under investigation.

Wilson suffered burns to 30 to 50 percent of his body, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, citing a team source. The newspaper also said the burns were serious but not life-threatening and that Wilson was in a medically-induced coma.

Wilson, 50, was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital. He is in his fifth season as running backs coach, joining the staff when head coach Mike Tomlin was hired in 2007.

Steelers president Art Rooney II says he is saddened by the incident and the organization is praying for a full recovery.

"We know that he has the best medical care in the country treating him," Rooney said in a statement posted on the team's website. "The entire organization is praying for Kirby to have a full recovery and we will be by his side through this difficult time."

UPMC Mercy has the area's only Comprehensive Burn Center. It's the same hospital where quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was treated following a motorcycle crash in 2006.

Wilson, who is from Los Angeles, played running back and wide receiver at Illinois before playing briefly in the Canadian Football League. He coached running backs in New England, Washington, Arizona and Tampa Bay before joining the Steelers.

Popular with the players because of his high-energy approach, Wilson guided running back Rashard Mendenhall to consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and spent this week helping third-year back Isaac Redman get ready for his first playoff start after Mendenhall was lost for the season with a torn ACL in his right knee.

"He's really taken me from a practice-squad running back to a running back that's capable of playing in this league," Redman said of Wilson. "He had a lot to do with my development, being able to recognize defenses and being able to be just a complete professional in how I go about my life every day."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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