Oxygen tank explodes after cigarette starts fire
BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON - A Fort Madison woman was taken to the hospital Tuesday night after an oxygen tank caught fire at a home on Richards Drive.
According to Fort Madison Fire Chief Joey Herren, firefighters were called to 12 Richards Drive at about 10:10 p.m. Tuesday night after receiving a call that a woman was trapped in her home.
As firefighters responded, they were informed the woman had escaped the home but was suffering from injuries and her oxygen tank had caught fire from a cigarette.
"When we got there she had gotten out of the house and had some injuries. So we did have to transport one," Herren said.
"The fire didn't look that bad, but then as we started to gain entry from the back, the whole tank exploded and it got pretty intense from there for a little bit."
The fire started on the main floor of the single-story home, but when the tank exploded flames got up into the attic. Firefighters got the fire quickly under control and were on the scene for just over an hour.
"Once we got at it, it didn't take us very long, but we had to get up in the attic."
Herren said the fire did approximately $50,000 in damage to the home. The home is listed as owned by Dennis and Nancy Tippey of West Point and is valued at $76,590, according to the Lee County Treasurer's office.
LeeComm called out an all call for all firefighters.
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