The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 10, 2013

Joplin woman killed in medical oxygen device fire

By Jeff Lehr
Globe Features Editor

JOPLIN, Mo. — A 75-year-old Joplin woman died Thursday night when the medical oxygen device she was wearing caught fire while she was smoking.

The Joplin Fire Department and emergency medical technicians responded at 11:18 p.m. to a call for medical help at 310 N. Creekside Drive and discovered a small fire in a garage at the south end of the duplex.

Occupants of both ends of the duplex were assisted out of their residences while firefighters put out the fire in the garage, where the body of Delores Anderson was discovered. Fire Chief Mitch Randles said Anderson, who lived at the address, was pronounced dead at the scene.

"She was wearing an oxygen device and it looks like that caught fire while she was smoking," Randles said.

The fire chief described the device involved as a nasal cannula connected to an oxygen generator. The resulting flash fire caught the victim's clothing, the glider-rocker chair on which she had been sitting and an adjacent wall of the garage on fire.

The body of the victim was taken to Mason-Woodard Mortuary in Joplin.