Woman with oxygen tank airlifted after smoking accident

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Smoking a cigarette (Photo: Pixabay)

ASHEBORO, NC (AP) — North Carolina’s insurance commissioner is cautioning people to be careful with cigarettes and pipes after a woman with an oxygen tank was badly burned while smoking.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey said in a news release that a resident at an assisted-living facility in Asheboro was smoking Saturday when her oxygen tank caught fire.

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She was airlifted to UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill.

Causey estimated that about one in ten of North Carolina’s 117 fire deaths in 2019 had smoking with an oxygen tank as a contributing factor.

Causey said even after an oxygen tank is turned off, higher concentrations of the gas can remain in the air.