Careless smoking leads to a downtown apartment fire - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Careless smoking leads to a downtown apartment fire

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Las Vegas Fire investigators believe the combination of careless smoking and medical oxygen is why another senior citizen is in the hospital suffering from serious smoke inhalation.

The man was rescued from his burning apartment by neighbors who saw smoke coming from his apartment and pulled the man out just before the fire department arrived. No other units were damaged in the fire.

Fire dispatchers received numerous calls at 8:02 p.m. Friday that smoke was coming from a downstairs apartment at Maverick Apartments at Freemont and Bruce streets near east Charleston Boulevard.

When Las Vegas Fire and Rescue arrived on scene smoke was rising from one unit of the two-story wood-frame stucco apartment building. Firefighters entered the apartment and found a couch in the living room on fire with the flames growing in size. Las Vegas Fire and Rescue had the blaze out within minutes.

The damage was confined to the living room. A sofa, carpeting, medical oxygen machine and the walls were damaged by the fire. Light smoke damage was found throughout the rest of the unit, with total damage estimates valued at $10,000 for the apartment.

Neighbors said to firefighters that the man, approximately 60, was in the apartment with the front door open. Smoke started to come out the front door as several neighbors saw the man sitting on the sofa that was on fire. The man has considerable medical and mobility aliments and could not get off the couch by himself.

Neighbors intervened, picking him up, they helped him out the door to the safety of the outside parking lot just as firefighters arrived on scene.

The man told paramedics that he was using medical oxygen, but took it off. He then decided to smoke a cigarette and must have fallen asleep when the fire started. He woke to the feeling of heat and a burning sofa. He was examined by paramedics on scene and then taken to the trauma unit at Sunrise Hospital because his condition worsened.

Fire investigators with Las Vegas Fire ruled the fire accidental in nature, as a result of careless smoking enhanced by the medical oxygen.

FOX5 will continue to provide updates on this incident as information becomes available.

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