Jul 29, 2014
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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.

Cigarette Ignites Oxygen Bottle, Burning Man

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.

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