Sunday, January 22, 2006

"Smoker torches emergency room"

From the Salt Lake City Tribune:

A patient who decided to light up ignited a fire at Salt Lake Regional Medical Center, burning himself and closing the emergency room on Saturday.

The fire occurred at about 5:45 p.m. in the hospital's emergency room when an intoxicated patient receiving oxygen lit a cigarette, said Brian Dunn, the hospital's chief executive officer. The patient caught fire, as did his oxygen tube and the wall to which it was connected.

Dunn said hospital staff extinguished the flames on the patient before firefighters arrived.

"I can't praise enough the emergency room physicians and the emergency room staff that acted and put the fire out," Dunn said.

Dennis McKone, a spokesman for the Salt Lake City Fire Department, said firefighters arrived to find some flames still on the wall where the oxygen was connected.

The patient had minor burns to his face and was transferred to University Hospital, Dunn said. A male acquaintance of the patient suffered smoke inhalation and was transported to another hospital.


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