Man suffers fatal burns from smoking while on oxygen

Published 12:43 am Sunday, October 10, 2010

A county resident appears to have died as a result of smoking cigarettes while using medical oxygen.

Michael Boone, 60, of 50 Sage Lane, was found by family members to be unconscious in his front yard on Tuesday, said Pearl River County Chief Deputy Shane Tucker.

The family member called 911 to report the incident at about 12:30 p.m. that day and attempted CPR, Tucker said. County Coroner Derek Turnage said Boone was on oxygen treatments for several medical conditions at the time.

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Investigation into the incident found that Boone was smoking while using the oxygen, and the oxygen ignited causing flash burns to his face, nose and mouth, Turnage said. Ignition of the oxygen took place in Boone’s bedroom, but afterwards he was able to make it out to the front yard where the family member found him unconscious, Tucker said.

Turnage listed the cause of death as due to facial flash burns.

Any county residents who may be using medical oxygen to teat medical conditions should refrain from smoking, Turnage said. All oxygen containers come with warnings and a list of safety precautions. Failure to follow those precautions can lead to serious injury or death, Turnage said.