Officials: Oxygen tank explosion cause of fire Print

By EARL WATT

• Leader & Times

A fire that destroyed a mobile home at the Oklahoma state line was caused by an oxygen bottle explosion, according to the fire Beaver County Fire Marshal.

“The fire marshal did his investigation at 7 p.m. last night,” Beaver County Sheriff Reuben Parker, Jr., said. “He is sure it had something to do with oxygen bottles.”

The ignited bottle started a fire that consumed the home of Curtis and Lori Phillips. The fire resulted in a total loss.

The couple were severely burned in the fire and were transferred to the Via Christi Burn Center in Wichita.

Parker said there were several ways the oxygen bottle could have exploded.

“An open flame, a cigarette, a gas stove, or if the oxygen is running and the mask is off, and it fills the room with oxygen, something as simple as a heater kicking on could ignite it,” he said.

The Turpin and Seward County fire departments responded to the scene and doused the flames, but earlier this morning Turpin returned to the scene to discharge hot spots that had reignited.

Curtis Phillips was not conscious this morning in the intensive care center on life support, and Lori Phillips was in and out of consciousness but unable to speak due to medical equipment providing air to her lungs according to the victim’s brother Larry Phillips.

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