Smoking in Bed while on Oxygen cause of a fire and Burn Injuries in Green

IMG_5424Mondaymorning at 09:41 AM, ten (10) Douglas County Fire District No.2 Firefighters, with 2 Fire Engines, 1 Ambulance and 2 Command Vehicles; under the direction of Battalion Chief Roger Johnson, assisted by 1 Fire Engine, 1 Ambulance and 5 Fire Fighters from Winston-Dillard Fire District No.5 responded to a reported House Fire at 2022 Linell Avenue west of Carnes Road in Green.


First units arrived on scene 5 minutes after the initial dispatch and reported light smoke coming from a bedroom window on the northwest side (back side) of the house. The affected structure was a single story family dwelling of wood frame construction built in 1965.


Fire fighters removed a smoldering mattress and bed spread from the bedroom and finished extinguishing the fire outside to limit the smoke damage inside the residence as much as possible. They also removed any lingering smoke from the house with power fans. The fire was declared under control in approximately 10 minutes. Fire damage was limited mostly to the mattress and bed spread; with some minor damage present on the bedroom where the fire originated.



An approximately 42 year old female was treated on scene by Paramedics for burns to her hands sustained when she tried to extinguish the fire. The patient refused ambulance transport, but was transported to Mercy by her son (as advised by Paramedics) to have her injuries examined by an emergency physician.


The female referenced above stated when interviewed by the Fire Marshal about the cause of this fire that she had been sleeping in bed, and after waking up she lit a cigarette oblivious to the fact that the Oxygen mask she uses for medical treatment was next to her. She explained that the Oxygen mask caught on fire, and that the fire extended to the bed spread and mattress. She further stated that she attempted to put out the fire with a small fire extinguisher and that somewhere in the middle of this commotion is when she sustained the burns to her hands.


Fire crews remained on scene until approximately 10:19 AM.


Douglas County Fire District No.2 would like to remind every one that it is “Extremely Hazardous” to smoke or be near a flame source no matter how small while being on therapeutic treatment with Oxygen. While Oxygen is not a flammable gas, when in the presence of a flame, it accelerates the combustion process allowing a fire to grow very rapidly, and expose those nearby to serious burns.


Additionally, Fire District No.2 officials would also like to warn the public that once a fire is discovered, there are three (3) immediate actions they should take to prevent injuries and ensure the safe evacuation of the building by all of its residents:


1. Report the fire to 911 without delay.


2. Close the door of the room where the fire is located at to prevent its rapid spread throughout the rest of the building.


3. Make sure all residents exit the building and wait for the arrival of Fire District No.2 resources on a safe location at least 50 feet away from the structure on fire.


Initial fire damage estimates are approximately $2,000.