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News Specialist Karen Scullin reportingAn oxygen tank and a cigarette proved to be a dangerous combination this morning in Murray. The two ignited a fire that quickly spread throughout a home and sent three people to the hospital.
It appears the three that went to the hospital are going to be okay, but firefighters say they are certainly lucky. You can see the house is very damaged, black and charred on the inside as well as around the windows. It was a fast-moving fire that took everyone inside by surprise.
The fire started because of a combination of oxygen and an open flame. Firefighters say one of the victims was lighting a cigarette while using oxygen she needs for respiratory problems. Oxygen acts as fuel to an open flame, and there was a flash or an explosion. The couch was on fire and then the whole front room. One of the women inside heard the smoke alarm and helped the others get out safely.
"Penny couldn't walk, but she got out, then I got Petie and carried him out," says Lyn Reese.
"This is not uncommon. We've had several fires over the years where people had been smoking on oxygen and have done this exact same thing," says Murray fire investigator Jesse Valenzuela.
Firefighters say they recently came to this house on a medical call, and at that time the victims didn't have a smoke alarm. Firefighters gave them a few to put up, and it's those alarms that appeared to have saved their lives.