ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Fire officials determined that Monday evening’s fatal house fire in northeast Roanoke was not only accidental, but caused by a resident smoking while on oxygen.
Roanoke Fire-EMS says crews were dispatched just after 6:45 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 18, to the 2500 block of Larchwood Street NE for reports of a fire.
When first responders arrived at the scene, they reportedly found heavy smoke and flames coming from the house. However, shortly afterward, the department says a small explosion blew out the structure’s windows.
Even though crews were getting ready to enter the home at the same time the blast occurred, Roanoke Fire-EMS says none of the personnel were injured and the fire was brought under control within 15 minutes of being dispatched.
According to fire officials, one resident died in the fire and another was taken to the hospital.
Even though the name of the victim will not be released until the medical examiner can make a positive identification, the department says the fire was accidental and resulted from the victim smoking while on oxygen.
“Roanoke Fire-EMS reminds residents that it is dangerous to smoke while on oxygen,” Roanoke Fire-EMS said in a statement on Tuesday, Jan. 19. “Doing so can result in serious injury or death.”