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Woman suffers severe burns after smoking while on oxygen

July 27, 2019

SANFORD, Maine (AP) — Authorities say a Sanford woman was seriously burned in a fire she caused by smoking while using oxygen to help with breathing.

The State Fire Marshal’s office said Saturday that 67-year-old Paula Pierce was being treated at Maine Medical Center for severe burns. She was injured while smoking inside her apartment Friday night. Neighbors heard the apartment’s smoke detector and called 911.

There was minor fire damage to the apartment and smoke and water damage to other units. The Red Cross is assisting displaced residents.

Oxygen vapors are highly flammable. Two other Maine residents have died earlier this year from smoking while on oxygen.

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