BROCKTON, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Saturday morning, Brockton firefighters arrived at an apartment complex on Stillman Avenue following a report of a fire.
Firefighters found that residents had extinguished the flames and removed one person, who officials said was unresponsive. Firefighters and medical personnel took action and provided immediate medical aid, successfully gaining a pulse and transporting the victim to a nearby hospital.
Brockton Fire Chief Brian Nardelli commended firefighters, paramedics, and residents who stepped in to help during the incident.
Fire officials found that the fire was caused by a person smoking while using medical oxygen.
"“There is no safe way to smoke but smoking on home oxygen is especially dangerous. A fire can start easier, burn faster, and grow larger in an oxygen-rich environment, placing oxygen users at great risk if they smoke," Nardelli said.
According to State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey, three deaths were linked to smoking and home oxygen in Massachusetts last year.
"If you use home oxygen and must smoke, disconnect the oxygen, wait 10 minutes, and go outside to do it, fire officials said. This is not a safe way to smoke, but it reduces the danger posed by oxygen-saturated hair and clothes," fire officials said.
The Department of Fire Services' Breathe Easy: Home Oxygen Fire Safety Campaign resources for patients, families, and other interested parties can be found here.