Smoking near oxygen tank investigated

Published:

YOUNGSTOWN (AP) -- Authorities are investigating whether a northeast Ohio man smoking a cigarette near his oxygen tank sparked a house fire that claimed his life.

Fire officials said the Thursday afternoon blaze in Youngstown destroyed the 11⁄2-story house and killed 53-year-old Mike Fergus.

The (Youngstown) Vindicator reports that Fergus was found dead by firefighters just a few feet away from his front door, near where the fire started. He was connected to an oxygen tank.

The victim's brother, who also lived at the home, was sleeping in the rear of the house and was able to get out safely.

John Fergus told fire investigators that his brother was a smoker and on oxygen for a medical condition.

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Information from: The Vindicator, http://www.vindy.com

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