Man killed in Saskatoon basement fireplace

A man is dead after a fire overnight in the city’s Mayfair neighbourhood.

At 1:42 a.m. Wednesday, Saskatoon Fire Department (SFD) responded to a blaze in a home in the 1700 block of Avenue G North, according to a news release

Two people were inside the home at the time of the fire, the department said.

The fire was located in a basement bedroom where a man was found unresponsive, according to the department.

“Fire crews removed the unresponsive resident from the basement and started CPR until the ambulance arrived,” SFD said.

The 64-year-old man was taken to St. Paul’s Hospital by paramedics where he died from his injuries.

“It is a sad day … An unfortunate accident occurred and hopefully people learn from this,” Saskatoon Fire Marshal Brian Conway said.

The other person living in the home sustained a minor injury, according to the department.

CTV News spoke to a family member of the victim. She confirmed that her mother and uncle both lived there and were inside the home at the time. Her uncle was the one who died.

A fire investigator determined the fire was accidentally sparked while the victim smoked in bed while on assisted oxygen, SFD said.

Conway said having a lit cigarette near an oxygen tank makes for an unsafe situation.

“With that, the oxygen that is in and around your body can increase the fire as it burns, so your clothing, your hair and that can become on fire. In this case, it spread onto the bedding,” he said.

Conway said that’s why people should not smoke if they are on oxygen and should wait until the oxygen is shut off and dissipates before smoking.

He also said it is important to ensure smoking materials are disposed of safely.

“Use an ashtray, use a smoking receptacle that’s non-combustible and make certain that you are not throwing your cigarette butts out on the ground and that it is always in a container and extinguished properly,” Conway said.

The fire didn’t spread beyond the bedroom and was quickly extinguished, SFD said.

Damage is estimated at $25,000.

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