Medical Oxygen and Smoking Could be to Blame For Deadly Fire

LAS VEGAS -- A man is dead as Las Vegas Fire and Rescue officials said he was using medical oxygen and smoking.

Fire authorities said the man was on medical oxygen trying to smoke when he caught fire and died inside an apartment on the 6100 block of Daisy Petal Street.

The incident appears to be accidental with fire dispatchers receiving a call from the man's wife at 5:15 p.m. that her husband was burned and was not responsive in their apartment. 

Investigators said the victim apparently caught the oxygen tubing on fire or his clothing and attempted to go to the kitchen, maybe to use water to douse on himself.

The man breathed in superheated air and because of his medical condition it caused him to stop breathing according to fire investigators.

This is the third fire fatality this year in the city of Las Vegas and fifth fatal fire in the past five months. All fatal fires involved senior citizens and were smoking related.

Careless smoking remains the leading reason for fatal fires both in Las Vegas as well as the rest of the country according to Las Vegas Fire and Rescue Tim Szymanski.

"We have a problem in this community because we do have a lot of senior citizens that are on medical oxygen," Szymanski said. "They try and have a smoke, even if they take themselves off the medical oxygen, for 10, 15 minutes, their clothes,  and skin is still impregnated with oxygen."

An exact cause of death will be determined by the Clark County Corner's Office.

The fire caused no damage to the home according to Las Vegas Fire investigators.


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