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The City of Portland, Oregon

Fire & Rescue

Always Ready, Always There

Phone: 503-823-3700

Fax: 503-823-3710

55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204

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NEWS RELEASE 7/17/13: Portland Fire & Rescue and Legacy Oregon Burn Center Team Up to Stop Home Oxygen Fires

Over the past 18 months, 9 fires were caused due to smoking while on home oxygen therapy. The injuries and property loss due to these fires is tragic and preventable. Portland Fire & Rescue and Legacy Oregon Burn Center have teamed up to stop these fires. The best way to stop them is through education and prevention.
Oxygen itself is not flammable. However, highly concentrated sources of oxygen promote rapid combustion. When a heat source, spark and/or cigarette is brought into close proximity to materials that have been exposed to high concentrations of oxygen; such as hair, clothes and oxygen tubing, vigorous fires can happen. Watch this video to see just how quickly these fires can occur.

The injuries that result from these fires can affect the individual's already compromised airway. The fires can also injure friends, family and caregivers that may be present at the time of the fire. Dr. Joseph Pulito of Legacy Oregon Burn Center has seen many of these cases over the years. Dr. Pulito states, "These fires are preventable." Do not smoke while on home oxygen therapy. Legacy Health provides smoking cessation classes. For more information please go to:

The most recent fire caused by home oxygen therapy and smoking occurred at the Henry Building, 309 SW 4th Avenue, on April 8, 2013. This fire caused $3,500 worth of damage and affected numerous residents in the building due to water damage.

Portland Fire & Rescue and Legacy Oregon Burn Center want to urge you to help stop these tragedies by not allowing the people you care about to smoke while on home oxygen therapy. These fires are preventable.
Contact Info:
Lt. Rich Chatman PIO, Media pgr. 503-940-6003