Dec 6, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff WriterEmergency responders in Lander had an early morning wakeup call Thanksgiving Day, when a mattress caught fire in an apartment on Pushroot Court.
Lander fire administrator Nick Hudson said the blaze began at about 4:15 a.m. Thursday after the apartment's single occupant started smoking a cigarette near her oxygen tank.
"She took her oxygen off and set it across the table," Hudson said Tuesday. "When she set her cigarette in the ashtray, it burned through the oxygen tube and started the oxygen tube on fire."
The woman was lying in bed at the time, and the fire quickly spread to her mattress. Hudson said she was able to escape from the building by the time firefighters arrived at the scene, 155 Pushroot Court. Officials were in the area for roughly 45 minutes.
Hudson said the apartment only sustained minor damage, but the woman won't be able to live in her home for some time.
"There was some smoke damage in the house and water damage," he said. "(It will require) cleanup, and replacing some stuff."
He warned residents to be careful when smoking.
Crews returned to the scene Tuesday, again in the early morning hours, but Hudson said this time there wasn't a real fire.
"The smoke detector was going off," he said. "It had residue (in it) from the fire (last week)."
A Lander police officer responded to the scene at 5:05 a.m. after reportedly hearing the alarm go off inside the residence. A neighbor unlocked the door for the officer, who said the apartment smelled faintly of smoke. He called the fire department to assist, but police chief Jim Carey said no flames were located.
-- Staff writer Kelli Ameling contributed to this report.
Get your copy of The Ranger online, every day! If you are a current print subscriber and want to also access dailyranger.com online (there is nothing more to purchase) including being able to download The Mining and Energy Edition, click here. Looking to start a new online subscription to dailyranger.com (even if it is for just one day)? Access our secure SSL encrypted server and start your subscription now by clicking here.