Careless Smoking Causes Euclid Fire
At 1:16 AM on Thursday, March 22, the Euclid Fire Department (EFD) responded to a house fire at 54 Sunny Cliff Drive. The resident awoke to flames within the couch she was asleep on. Sixteen Euclid firefighters responded to the two-story home. The victim, a 54-year-old female, was treated by EFD paramedics for smoke inhalation and transported to Euclid Hospital.
Upon arrival, firefighters found the resident enveloped in smoke standing in the front doorway. Crews removed her and transferred her to awaiting paramedics. They then entered, conducting a search while extinguishing the fire which had spread to involve the entire contents of the first-floor living room.
The fire was ruled accidental and originated in the living room couch on which the resident had fallen asleep while smoking a cigarette. Home oxygen helped the fire start and burn more intensely. Only one of the three smoke alarms in the home had a battery. The preliminary loss estimate for the building and contents is $40,000.
The dangers of smoking and home oxygen use cannot be overstated. Excess oxygen soaks into common household materials allowing them to ignite at lower temperatures and burn with a higher intensity. Also, working smoke alarms save lives! Change batteries every six months and change the alarms themselves within ten years of the date of manufacture on the back.