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Posted on Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 6 p.m.

Ypsilanti woman suffers burns, taken to U-M emergency center

By Kody Klein

A 68-year-old woman suffered minor burns to her face after attempting to light a cigarette while connected to an oxygen tank Friday in the 400 block of West Michigan Avenue in Ypsilanti.

"We’ve had several incidents like this in the past," said Lt. Mike Kouba, of Ypsilanti Fire Department. "One person actually died from the same situation a few years ago, in the same building."

The woman was taken to University of Michigan Emergency Center for her burns and for difficulty breathing.

"If you're on oxygen, you shouldn't be smoking cigarettes," Kouba said, citing the element's fire-accelerating properties.

Kouba said the incident also left burn marks on the front of the furniture.

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Rebecca Singleton

Tue, Jan 29, 2013 : 7:42 p.m.

Educated or not people that want their smoke will have a smoke and nothing will stop them! Sad but true. This story hits close to home for me. My father actually died while sparking up a cigg while wearing his oxygen. The fire department said the oxygen was leaking and built up in his coat enough to when he sparked that lighter it caused an explosion and killed him instantly. I witnessed a few times when flames would shoot up from sparking a lighter near his oxygen, it was scary. Hopefully this is a lesson learned for her and others. Trust me this is not a way anybody should go out!!!


Sun, Jan 27, 2013 : 5:03 p.m.

Um...just taking a stab in the dark but isn't smoking the reason you are on an oxygen tank...I'm sure there could be a half a dozen other reasons but...well ya know...


Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 2:50 a.m.

Next time just a pinch between the cheek and gum....


Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 1:42 a.m.

That's a nicotine addiction! Is it possible the patient didn't have a discussion with a health care provider regarding no lighting up and the non-smoke alternatives to nicotine for addiction that remains?

Connie Hart

Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 4:43 a.m.


Ann English

Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 12:46 a.m.

The last time I read about someone on oxygen lighting up, he set his bed on fire. Very fortunate the furniture in THIS article didn't burn, just got burn marks. The woman must have closed her eyes when other parts of her face got minor burns, so that she did not see the fire in front of her. She's on oxygen and she was having trouble breathing? I hope it doesn't mean that her smoking caused emphysema.


Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 11:05 a.m.

Well smoking sure doesn't help your lungs

Dog Guy

Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 11:44 p.m.

Having taught quite a few science classes over the decades, I'll accept blame for this unfortunate occurrence. Sorry.


Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 3:09 a.m.



Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 11:43 p.m.

Unfortunately, this is pretty common. People on oxygen are clearly told that smoking while on oxygen is prohibited. My dad did this and was lucky he never started a fire. Shows how strong the tobacco addiction is.

Sam S Smith

Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 2:54 p.m.

Billy please learn what addiction is. It's not as simple as blaming the people who are addicted. And if you still don't get it, please don't look down to those who are addicted.


Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 12:30 a.m.

"Shows how strong the tobacco addiction is." Incorrect. You have just shifted ALL the blame onto the drug...which doesn't work. The drug is not responsible for the addiction...the personality is.


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 11:50 p.m.

So true. And I think people on O2 are also clearly told they shouldn't be smoking, period because needing O2 usually means your lungs are already compromised. I hope this lady will be okay.


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 11:41 p.m.

that's one thing EVERY person requiring supplemental oxygen needs to be educated!!

Connie Hart

Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 4:41 a.m.

they are, but some don't care, I see it a lot!