Explosive fire at California home believed due to lit cigarette and medical oxygen tank


By Lisa Braxton

Two people were killed and two others injured after a home in Altadena, California, caught fire on the weekend.

According to Eyewitness News ABC7, Los Angeles County firefighters arrived to find the home engulfed in flames. A 58-year-old man and his mother, 86, were killed. Neighbors said they heard an explosion at the home. Authorities believe the woman, who used an oxygen tank, was smoking a cigarette.

Oxygen is not flammable, but fire needs it to burn. When more oxygen is present, any fire that starts will burn hotter and faster than usual. There is no safe way to smoke in a home when oxygen is in use.

NFPA’s medical oxygen information and safety tips sheet provide more on the safe use of medical oxygen.

Neighbors said the man and his mother lived in the home for more than 30 years. Two other people who lived there were injured in the fire and taken to a nearby hospital.

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