Fire officials in Kern County, California, are warning about the dual dangers of smoking in bed and smoking while using home-care oxygen assistance after a Bakersfield man believed to have been doing both had to be rescued from his burning home early on Sunday.
The fire department said crews responded at 2am to a report of a person trapped in the rear room of a residential fire. Another person who had already evacuated was found in the back yard.
The unidentified person inside was treated for minor burns to his hands.
He was then transported to a hospital. The man had been smoking in bed while using home care oxygen.
“The oxygen had enriched the atmosphere so that the bed linens caught fire and flames had travelled along the breaking supply line, down the hallway to the oxygen generator,” a spokesperson said.
“The Kern County Fire Department would like to remind homeowners that smoking in bed is dangerous and smoking in or near an oxygen-enriched environment is especially hazardous. While oxygen itself is not flammable, it causes ordinary combustible materials to be extra flammable,” they added.