Officials: Smoking, Oxygen, Caused Fatal Massachusetts Fire

February 18, 2010

Massachuetts fire investigators say smoking in the presence of an oxygen tank led to fire at a Lynn senior housing complex over the weekend that killed a 68-year-old man.

Fire Lt. David Legere tells The Daily Item of Lynn that the fire in the eighth-floor apartment Saturday started in Frederick Rand’s oxygen tank located in his bedroom. Legere says investigators think Rand took off his oxygen to light a cigarette and lit the tank’s hose.

Investigators think the plastic inside the machine caught fire and smoldered inside the machine, emitting toxic smoke. In addition, a bureau partially blocked sprinklers.

State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said since 1997, home oxygen has been involved in 24 fire deaths in Massachusetts and has caused more than 50 serious injuries.

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