Woman who lit cigarette while on oxygen seriously burned

The flame ignited her oxygen-enriched clothing and she caught fire


By Judi Currie
Foster's Daily Democrat

SOMERSWORTH, N.H. — A woman who lit a cigarette while using an oxygen machine suffered serious burns Tuesday morning when her oxygen-soaked clothing burst into flames.

The 911 call came in at 3:24 a.m. Somersworth Fire Chief Keith Hoyle said.

Police, fire and EMS personnel responded to 360 Main St., Unit D and found a 67-year-old woman who had been smoking and was also on an oxygen regeneration machine.

“She had caught fire and her husband had extinguished the fire. We determined that she had been on the oxygen regeneration machine.” Hoyle said.

“We don't know whether she realized she was on it or not when she lit up the cigarette. The flame obviously ignited the oxygen-enriched clothing she was wearing and she caught fire.”

Medical personnel treated the woman and transported her to Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover.

American Ambulance General Manager Paul Robidas explained that an oxygen regeneration machine brings in ambient air and essentially pulls the oxygen out providing it to the patient through a tube worn on the face.

A long hose allows the person to move about their home and frees them from having to keep large oxygen tanks around.

Hoyle said there was no structural damage to the apartment, just surface burning of a table and cabinets.

Officials did not release the woman's name.

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©2014 the Foster's Daily Democrat (Dover, N.H.)

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