Lafayette Man Seriously Burned After Cigarette Touches Off Oxygen Bottle

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 resultant explosion.


UPDATED at 1:51 p.m. Wedesday -- with age of victim, suspected cause of fire, extent of injury to the homeowner.

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, finding an injured 71-year-old man outside the residence and his home on fire.

Firefighters reported smoke and flames were seen 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, and 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.

A fire investigator reported that initial indications are the fire was caused by smoking in the presence of an in-home medical oxygen system. The man, in his early 70s, was apparently smoking while using the oxygen system and a fire erupted. He suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns to his hands and face.

No damage estimate was immediately available and an update on the fire victim’s status was not available. His name was not released.

jweber August 29, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Nixle sent me a text about this about half hour after I got the patch email. I'm glad I got the text but it seems like it should have come out much sooner.
Jennifer James August 29, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Wow, hes lucky to be alive. Thats a deadly combo.
CJ August 29, 2012 at 09:48 PM
On oxygen and smoking. Wow! Just wow!
Ian Lipnicky (still a SportsFan) August 29, 2012 at 11:52 PM
Not the first. Won't be the last. A fairly common practice. Addiction is a powerful motivator.


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