Three die, another critically injured in recent smoking-related - KPTV - FOX 12

Three die, another critically injured in recent smoking-related fires in Portland

Posted: Updated: Oct 13, 2015 02:41 PM
Scene of Friday's deadly fire on Southeast 39th and Gladstone Street. Scene of Friday's deadly fire on Southeast 39th and Gladstone Street.
Scene of Friday's deadly fire on Southeast 39th and Gladstone Street. Scene of Friday's deadly fire on Southeast 39th and Gladstone Street.
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Three people died and another was critically injured in smoking-related fires in Portland in less than a week, according to Portland Fire & Rescue.

Firefighters said smoking is the leading cause of preventable home fire deaths, with one out of four fire deaths caused by smoking materials.

At 5 a.m. Thursday, firefighters responded to a home where a woman caught fire from smoking while on oxygen therapy. Firefighters said her caretaker was able to put out the fire, but the woman, who is in her 70s, was taken to the Oregon Burn Center in critical condition.

At 8 a.m. the following day, firefighters were called out to another home where a man in his 60s caught fire while smoking in bed.

Investigators said his roommate tried to rescue him, but he was overcome by the smoke. Firefighters put out the fire, but both men later died at the hospital.

On Monday, Portland Fire & Rescue crews responded to reports of a man in his 80s who caught his clothes on fire while smoking in bed. He was taken to the Oregon Burn Center, but died later that night.

Firefighters said Portland has averaged approximately five fire deaths a year for the last five years, but that total is up to eight deaths in 2015.

Portland Fire & Rescue offered these tips with regards to smoking:
- Put out all cigarettes, cigars or pipes before you leave the room.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Use deep ashtrays. Don't put ashtrays on the arms of sofas or chairs.
- Keep matches and lighters locked up, away from children. Teach children to tell you if they find a lighter or matches.
- If smokers have visited, check floors and seat cushions for butts and ashes that may have dropped.

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