Son Saves Mother From Fire After Oxygen Tank Explodes

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(Palm Bay)–A 47-year-old man saved his mother from a fire that started while she was smoking near active oxygen tanks in her home.  At 11:52 p.m. Monday Palm Bay Fire-Rescue responded to the 400-block of Wells Rd SW for reports of a structure fire.  When firefighters arrived the home was “fully involved”.   
One of the occupants of the home, identified as Robert Reynolds, described hearing a loud “thump” and then found his mother lying on a burning bed.  Reynolds immediately pulled his mother to safety and attempted to put the fire out.  He pulled the burning mattress into the backyard and returned inside the home to find the room on fire.  
Reynolds then retreated and called 9-1-1.  The home was destroyed.  The investigation revealed Reynolds’ mother, identified as Joyce Warmuth, 74, had been smoking while lying in bed and attached to an active oxygen tank about twenty feet away.  “The heat from the cigarette ignited the oxygen hose she was using to breathe,” said Fire Marshal Mike Couture.  “She is extremely lucky to be alive and fortunate to not have been seriously burned or injured as a result.”
               
The single family home is valued at approximately $85,000 and the property and contents are a total loss as a result of the fire.  Reynolds was not injured in the fire.  The family is being assisted by the Red Cross.
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