Homes using oxygen need to exercise extreme care to avoid fires - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Homes using oxygen need to exercise extreme care to avoid fires

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Two fatal fires within two weeks in our Valley is bring to the forefront the need for extreme caution and compliance when someone in a home is using oxygen.

In the January 17th Youngstown fire on Broadview, Mike Fergus, who depended on oxygen to breathe and who was confined to a wheelchair, burned alive.

In the 2nd fire, Howland's fire chief believes an oxygen tank may have been a contributing factor to a fatal blaze that killed 71-year-old Joyce Baker in a house on Deforest Road on January 25th.

21 News talked with a representative from Boardman Medical Supply who said it's critical for people using oxygen to follow the safety instructions.

"We just need people to stay away from oxygen and smoking, and flames, and cooking. You have to be very careful. You don't think about it, even blowing out a birthday candle. They have to be extremely careful; the innocent things that could happen when you're on oxygen. You have to be very aware of your surroundings," said Robin Ibony, Boardman Medical Supply.

Ibony says oxygen coming out of a tank is 100 percent oxygen and not 21 percent like the air we breathe.

Boardman Medical Supply says all of its clients on oxygen receive verbal and written warnings which include placing signs on the outside and inside of their homes.

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