Fire starts when woman lights cigarette near oxygen hose

May 15, 2012

A woman attempting to light a cigarette too close to her oxygen hose started her apartment on fire at the Lake Forest Apartments about 8 a.m. May 12, police said.

According to the Oak Creek police report:

Oak Creek police and firefighters responded to a 911 call reporting a fire in a resident's apartment in the 8500 block of South Chicago Road at 7:45 a.m. May 12.

The first officer on scene reported a 65-year-old woman sitting on the floor outside her apartment door. Due to heavy smoke and heat coming from inside the apartment, the officer carried the woman to safety.

Oak Creek firefighters doused the fire at 8:05 a.m., and residents were allowed to return to the building at 8:37 a.m.

When questioned about the origin of the fire, the woman stated she was sitting on her couch with her oxygen on, and then took off the oxygen to light a cigarette. The cigarette did not light during her first attempt. During her second attempt to light the cigarette, the lighter ignited the oxygen hose, which then ignited the couch.

The woman was taken the hospital for evaluation and treatment of burns to her left hand and thigh.

Damage was reported to the entire apartment unit, with possible water damage to units below, and several windows were smashed to ventilate other units. A total damage estimate was not available at the time of the report.

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