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Chief: York City woman's face burned in oxygen fire

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
LOGO medic

A York City woman escaped serious injury Tuesday when medical oxygen caught fire as it was leaving the nasal prongs attached to her face, York City's fire chief said.

The woman, who is about 40 years old, suffered burns around her nostrils, Fire Chief Chad Deardorff said.

She was able to walk to a waiting ambulance — escorted by firefighters — and was  transported to a local hospital for treatment, Deardorff said.

Fire crews were dispatched to a home in the 300 block of Susquehanna Avenue at 8:48 a.m. Tuesday and found the woman sitting in her living room, applying water to her face, according to Deardorff.

Static? The woman told firefighters it must have been static that sparked the oxygen fire because she hadn't been smoking, Deardorff said.

The oxygen flamed up as it left the nasal cannula the woman was wearing, he said. The oxygen-delivery device is also called nasal prongs.

Nothing in the home caught fire, and crews cleared the scene at 9:09 a.m., the chief said.

Deardorff warned that patients on oxygen must use extreme care because the gas is very flammable.

"Putting a heat or flame source next to oxygen is a recipe for disaster," he said. "At the end of the day, it could kill you."

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.

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