The Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District fought a fast-moving blaze at a North Highlands home on Christmas Day after its resident fell asleep smoking a cigarette near an oxygen canister. No one was injured or killed.
The resident of the home in the 6900 block of Gillingham Way was smoking a cigarette while using oxygen to breathe, said Michelle Eidam, a Metro Fire spokeswoman. The flame interacted with the highly concentrated oxygen source, which caused the fire to spread quickly.
“That’s a recipe for disaster,” Eidam said. “It easily could have been deadly.”
Once the fire began, the resident woke up and attempted to extinguish it. After failing to do so, he left the house and called 911, Eidam said.
The house fire was contained to two bedrooms but caused smoke damage throughout the house. Firefighters extinguished the blaze in about 15 minutes.
Oxygen is highly flammable, and people should be very careful about introducing a flame – even a candle – in an environment where oxygen is present, Eidam added.
“It’s an accelerant,” she said. “It makes things burn faster and more fiercely.”