Las Vegas Sun

September 1, 2014

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Woman wearing oxygen mask burned in flash fire

An elderly woman wearing a medical oxygen mask suffered serious burns to her face Wednesday in a flash fire accelerated by the oxygen, fire officials said.

Las Vegas Fire and Rescue spokesman Tim Szymanski said firefighters responded to the home in the northwest valley about 8 a.m. and found the woman with serious burns to her head and face.

Firefighters discovered the fire had occurred on the stove.

The woman told officials she was about to start cooking when her nasal oxygen mask fell from her face onto the stove. Firefighters said the natural gas stove was not on at the time.

She put the oxygen line back on her face and ignited the stove, which caused a flash fire, Szymanski said. The fire self-extinguished and there was minimal damage to the kitchen, he said.

The woman was taken to the burn unit at University Medical Center for treatment and observation, he said.

Szymanski said people should be cautious when using medical oxygen around flames because it accelerates fire and can result in serious burns.

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