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Three escape unharmed from Monday night house fire

Woman smoking in bed and using oxygen ignited blaze

Three Hillsboro residents escaped injury late Monday night when a woman smoking in bed while using medical oxygen accidentally caught the oxygen tubing on fire.

The fire spread to bedding, then furniture, and damaged one bedroom in the one-story home in the 2200 block of Southeast Tanager Circle. A smoke alarm alerted the other two residents to the flames and all three escaped unharmed.

The residents told fire investigators the 59-year old woman was smoking in her bed while using medical oxygen. She reported she dropped a cigarette on the medical tubing.

It quickly burned through the tubing and caught her bedding on fire. Her 63-year old husband heard the smoke alarm sound and, using his electric wheelchair, went to investigate and found his wife trying to extinguish the flames. The couple and the man’s 93-year old mother left the home and called 911.

The first arriving fire crews found all three residents outside. Fire damage was contained to one room with moderate smoke damage to about one-third of the home, officials said. Damage is estimated at $10,000.

Red Cross provided lodging assistance and assistance to address immediate disaster related basic needs to the three adults and one pet affected.

Hillsboro Fire reminds all residents to never smoke in bed. While smoking in bed accounts for only 2 percent of all residential structure fires in the United States, the U.S. Fire Administration says it’s the leading cause of civilian fire deaths.

It is extremely dangerous to smoke while using medical oxygen, officials said.