Three people were forced to flee a Madison Heights home Monday morning to escape a fire authorities said was caused by a person who was smoking while on oxygen.

Paul Biliti, fire marshal of the Madison Heights Fire Department, said the fire broke out about 6:52 a.m. at a home on the 300 block of West Hudson north of Interstate 94 and west of I-96. The fire started in a bedroom in the rear of the home. The woman who lives in that room is an oxygen user and was smoking cigarettes at the time, Biliti said. 

"They don't mix very well," Biliti said of the smoke and oxygen. "It caught a comforter on fire, which caught the bed on fire, which rapidly accelerated around the house."

Two people, the woman and a man believed to be in his 40s, were transported to the hospital. The man was treated for smoke inhalation and minor burns and has been released. The woman is in stable condition and is expected to be monitored for 24 hours.

The man's son was also home at the time, but was not hurt. Exact ages of the three victims were not immediately available.

The fire department considers the fire accidental, but used the occasion to encourage residents to make sure smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are in working order. The home on West Hudson was too badly damaged to tell if they were working. 

"It's pretty much going to be totaled," Biliti said of the home. "It's in ruins. A complete loss."


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