Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Smoking while intoxicated leads to two deaths

Indiana: A 51 year-old who was determined to be impaired on medications and alcohol perished in a fire in his mobile home when he fell asleep smoking.  A neighbor dialed 911 at 8:30 a.m. to report the fire and by the time first-arriving units were in scene the mobile home was fully involved in fire and extending to a unit next door.  The man was found outside the home after he jumped out a window. 

California: A dropped cigarette in a couch caused the death of a 58 year-old woman who was found in her duplex after flames were seen venting out the windows of the home by first arriving units.  The woman was a hoarder which added to the fuel load in the house.  Excessive amounts of papers, video cassettes, records and books made access difficult for firefighters.  The coroner determined the victim was intoxicated at the time of the fire; over 50 empty beer cans were discovered in the bedroom along with the woman. 

Space heater responsible for fatal fire

Oregon:  A 48 year-old woman died of smoke inhalation in her single-family home when a portable space heater was placed too close to her bedding.  Apparently the woman dialed 911 twice, hanging up each time before communications could determine her address.  A firefighter passing by discovered the fire and dialed 911.  Investigators determined that after discovering the fire, the woman fled to the bathroom where she was overcome with smoke.  The coroner found high levels of alcohol and carbon monoxide in her blood. 

Elderly man's clothing catches fire while cooking

Vermont:  A 66 year-old man died of thermal burns when his clothing caught fire after coming in contact with one of the heating elements on his stove.  Investigators determined the victim managed to pull of his burning sweatshirt and was trying to extinguish his other clothing in the sink when he fell to the floor.  The man's clothing was still burning when firefighters arrived on scene.  Instead of using the "stop, drop, and roll" method, the man tried to extinguish himself in the kitchen sink.  The victim was still alive when he arrived at the hospital, but later succumbed to his injuries. 

Overloaded power strip responsible for two deaths

New Mexico:  A 70 year-old man and a 65 year-old woman died of smoke inhalation when heavy smoke filed their single-story home from a fire in a converted garage at the far end of the property.  Investigators determined that an overloaded power strip ignited the carpeting and flooring. 

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