LAS VEGAS -- An elderly man died Tuesday night as a result of a flash fire that might have been fueled by medical oxygen he was using at his northwest Las Vegas residence.
The incident appears to be accidental.
The Clark County coroner's office identified the victim as Russell Kincaid, 68, of Las Vegas.
Fire dispatchers received a call from Kincaid's wife at 5:15 p.m. that her husband was burned and was not responsive in their apartment in the 6100 block of Daisy Petal Street, near Ann and U.S. 95). She had just got home from work and found Kincaid lying on the floor in the kitchen. When firefighters arrived on scene they found there was no fire in the apartment. Kincaid was found dead by paramedics.
Investigators from Las Vegas Fire & Rescue and Metro Police believe Kincaid was using medical oxygen and decided to smoke. He apparently caught the oxygen tubing on fire or his clothing and attempted to go to the kitchen, maybe to use water to douse on himself. He was overcome before he made it. Fire investigators believe Kincaid breathed in superheated air and because of his medical condition it caused him to stop breathing. An exact cause of death will be determined by the Clark County corner’s office.
The wife told investigators that she was home during the lunch hour to check on Kincaid and feed him lunch and everything was fine when she left home.
This is the third fire fatality this year in the city of Las Vegas and fifth fatal fire in the past five months. All fatal fires involved senior citizens and were smoking related. Careless smoking remains the leading reason for fatal fires both in Las Vegas as well as the rest of the country. Most deaths occur between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., the time in which most people sleep.
-- From news release