NC Woman Dies After Cigarette She Was Smoking Causes Her Oxygen Tank to Explode
A North Carolina woman has tragically died Tuesday morning following a freak accident.
According to WNCN, 61-year-old Belinda Coble was smoking a cigarette while oxygen was being administered. Authorities said her lit cigarette got in contact with her oxygen tank, that she uses for medical problems, was nearby and suddenly exploded.
Coble’s husband, who was sleeping in another room of the house, woke up after hearing the loud explosion and the smoke alarm. He managed to extinguish the small fire but as firefighters and EMS workers arrived at Coble’s Zebulon home before 8 a.m., they found her dead at the scene.
Despite the explosion and small fire, officials said the home suffered minimal damage.
BPR Medical Gas Control managing director Richard Radford noted in an article for the COPD Foundation that there are over 180 home fires involving oxygen therapy equipment each year in the United States.
“The most important thing you can do to reduce the risk of fire when using home oxygen is to not smoke,” he wrote. “If you are finding it hard to give up smoking, there are many in ways in which your healthcare providers can support you, such as nicotine replacement therapy. Your relatives, visitors, carers, or neighbors should also be told to not smoke in your house,” PEOPLE quotes.
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