Loveland apartment unit catches fire after man falls asleep while smoking

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LOVELAND, Colo. — No one was reported to have been injured after an apartment unit caught fire after a man fell asleep while smoking a cigarette, igniting oxygen tubing, the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority said Friday.

The fire started about 4:40 a.m. at 609 E. Fifth St. It spread inside and outside the apartment lock-off above a detached garage, fire officials said.

After the tubing started to burn, the man woke up and turned off the oxygen tank. When he returned, the chair in which he had been sleeping was on fire.

He tried to move the chair onto the deck outside of the unit, but he was unable to get it past the door.

Flames quickly spread, burning parts of the garage and the apartment. The main house suffered minor damage, fire officials said. Crews got the fire under control by 5:15 a.m.

No injuries were reported, but the man was evaluated by a Thompson Valley Emergency Medical Services crew and family members took him to a hospital as a precaution.

“While we’re glad that no one was significantly injured by this fire, it serves as a reminder that using oxygen near ignition sources such as cigarettes can be dangerous combination,” Loveland Fire Rescue Authority spokesman Scott Pringle said.

“Smoking materials are still the leading cause of fire related fatalities in the U.S., and it’s fortunate that there were no fatalities resulting from this fire incident.”

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