WICHITA — A house in south Wichita went up in flames Sunday morning after an elderly man with a lit cigarette fell asleep in bed, fire investigators said.
The fire was reported at 11:40 a.m. in the 2200 block of Hadden, which is southeast of Pawnee and Meridian, Wichita Fire Capt. Stuart Bevis said. The man is on oxygen, and the lit cigarette ignited some of that oxygen, he said.
The man tried to put out the fire before calling 911, Bevis said, "so the fire had a head start before fire crews had a chance to get there."
With a damage estimate of $130,000 for the house and its contents, the house is essentially a total loss, Bevis said.
"It's very extensive damage for a house down there," he said.
The elderly man suffered minor smoke inhalation and was treated at the scene, Bevis said.
The incident is yet another reminder of the dangers of someone smoking while using oxygen tanks, he said.