March 26, 2015 - On March 17, Thunder Bay Fire Rescue responded to a Leslie Avenue home for a possible structural fire. Responding units found an extinguished fire inside a bedroom of the home and a female occupant suffering from serious burns. The fire is still under investigation with the Ontario Fire Marshall's office, but it is known that the occupant was utilizing home medical oxygen while smoking.

"This unfortunate incident is a good opportunity to remind people to keep open flames away from medical oxygen, and any other flammable gas," said Fire Chief John Hay. "There is no safe way to smoke inside a house where medical oxygen is in use. As more and more people are bringing medical oxygen into the home, they need to understand the new fire risks they also bring into the home."

Thunder Bay Fire Rescue reminds residents that pure oxygen soaks into bedding, clothes, hair, furniture and the air, creating an oxygen-enriched environment. This causes things to easily catch fire, burn hotter and spread faster. Any open flame should be avoided where medical oxygen is in use.  Thunder Bay Fire Rescue strongly recommends installing additional smoke alarms in any area where home oxygen may be used.

For more information on Home Oxygen Safety, go to

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Contact:  Anthony Stokaluk, Public Education Officer - Thunder Bay Fire Rescue, 625-2802, 631-7033 (cell) or