From the Office of the State Fire Marshal:
A 58-year-old man is in critical condition after lighting a cigarette in his bed in Edgewood early Tuesday morning.
At 3:49 AM firefighters from Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company were initially alerted for an automatic medical alarm at 1839 Steven Drive located within the Harford Mobile Home Village in Edgewood. First arriving firefighters discovered smoke coming from the home and quickly made access, discovering a bed and its coverings on fire however a person was not inside the home. The fire was extinguished and reports of a burn victim located at a residence on nearby Sandee Court were received. It was later confirmed the victim, Scott Crawford was the owner of the home.
Deputy State Fire Marshals were requested to investigate and determined the victim lit a cigarette and in doing so ignited his oxygen tubing and surrounding bedding material. Crawford, a paraplegic, was able to escape the burning bed and crawl to his battery operated wheel chair. He exited the home, yelling for help until he reached a friend’s home on Sandee Court. Crawford was the sole occupant of the home. He was treated by Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire/EMS personnel and transported to Johns Hopkins Bayview Burn Center. It is estimated Crawford sustained 2nd and 3rd degree burns to his back.
Oxygen is not flammable and will not explode, however, an oxygen enriched environment can cause materials to ignite more readily and burn at a faster rate than normal. If oxygen is in use, the amount of oxygen in the air, furniture, clothing, hair and bedding materials is increased, making it easier for a fire to start and spread, thus increasing the potential for serious burn injuries or death.