Cigarette Ignites Oxygen Bottle, Burning Man

A 71-year-old Lafayette man was seriously burned Wednesday after the cigarette he was smoking touched off an oxygen bottle, burning him and damaging his home in the explosion.

A 71-year-old man suffered serious burns to his hands and face after the cigarette he was smoking caused an oxygen bottle to explode and start a house fire Wednesday.

Police and fire crews from Moraga, Orinda, and Lafayette were dispatched to a report of an explosion and structure fire in the 700 block of Moraga Road in Lafayette shortly after noon Wednesday. They found an injured 71-year-old man outside the residence and his home on fire.

Firefighters reported smoke and flames coming from the rear of the home and they attacked the fire while firefighter-paramedics attended to the resident, severely burned on his hands and face.

The blaze was reported as under control within 10 minutes. Moraga Road was closed in both directions for a short time to give emergency crews access to the scene. Firefighters from Moraga, Orinda, Lafayette and Walnut Creek responded to the one-alarm blaze.

Initial indications are the fire was caused by smoking in the presence of an in-home medical oxygen system, a fire investigator said. The man, in his early 70s, was apparently smoking while using the oxygen system and a fire erupted. He suffered second- and third-degree burns to his hands and face.

The victim's name was not released.

Stephen Fredricks August 30, 2012 at 04:39 PM
He's on oxygen and still smokes? Hopefully, he'll see the carelessness of his behavior, and realize that smoking can kill in more ways than one .


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