Fatal fire blamed on smoking in presence of medical oxygen

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Authorities say an elderly man injured in a fire at his apartment caused by smoking in the presence of medical oxygen has died.

Massachusetts Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey announced the death Monday. The victim was injured in his West Springfield apartment on Friday.

The victim’s name has not been made public pending an autopsy.

Investigators say the fire was caused by smoking while medical oxygen was in use. Ostroskey says the man’s clothing ignited, so he ran to the sink to try to douse the flames with water.

Ostroskey says in the past decade 20 people have died in Massachusetts in fires where home oxygen was involved in the start or the rapid spread of the fire.

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