Thursday, July 24, 2014

Smoking while using therapeutic oxygen ignites massive blaze in McKinley Hill area

Incident Date:  7/24/14
Issuing Officer:  Joe Meinecke
Incident Location:  707 E. 32nd St.
Incident Type:  Residential Structure Fire

Narrative:  At 8:39 am firefighters from stations 1, 2, 4, 8, 11, 12 and 15 responded to a reported house fire.

The first arriving crews found heavy smoke and flames showing from the 1 1/2 story approximately 1,000 foot residence. The fire grew rapidly, spreading to the house next door, a recreational vehicle and third building.

Crews initially attended to two patients found outside the front of the house, transporting them with firefighter/paramedics on Advanced Life Support Medic Units. They also commenced an aggressive interior attack on the well-entrenched fire in the house of origin and the secondary exposure. Firefighters eventually had to transition to a defensive tactic on the main house, as the structural integrity of the building had been compromised and was beginning to collapse.  

Fire investigators determined that the cause of the fire was an occupant smoking while using oxygen therapy. The fire resulted in two injuries, a total of five occupants displaced from the two houses, and an estimated $350,000 damage to the buildings, RV and their contents.

Preliminary indications are that the therapeutic oxygen greatly accelerated the intensity of the fire.

Additionally, two of three pet Chihuahuas remain missing at this time.

UPDATE:  The missing pet Chihuahuas have been found and reunited with family members. 7/25/14