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Fire Marshal: Fairhaven Resident Uses Lighter to Adjust Oxygen Machine, Causes Fire

A Friday night fire caused an estimated $50,000 in damages.

A fire broke out at Fairhaven Retirement Community in Sykesville Friday evening after an 81-year-old resident attempted to adjust his own oxygen machine, according to the Deputy State Fire Marshal.

According to a Fire Marshal report, firefighters from Sykesville Volunteer Fire Department were called just before 7 p.m. to the three story assisted living facility. Upon arrival, the firefighters discovered a fire had been extinguished by two sprinklers in room 217 and one sprinkler head located just outside the room.  

According to a Fire Marshal report, investigators concluded Millard Keller, 81, was attempting to shorten the oxygen tubing that assisted him to breath by cutting the tubing and then with a metal awl and a cigarette lighter attempted to conform the tube to the adapter on the machine, subsequently igniting nearby combustibles which quickly spread due to the oxygen rich environment. 

The fire was quickly contained by sprinklers but not before causing an estimated $50,000 in damages. No injuries were reported including the occupant of the room, according to the Fire Marshal report.

Trish September 26, 2012 at 02:28 PM
I am absolutely appalled and shocked that Fairhaven would release the name of this resident to the press. As a geriatric nurse, I know there are many living in assisted and skilled nursing who suffer from early dementia and other ailments that are associated with the aging process. Obviously, this was a result of a lack of logical thinking, which happens to the best of us as we age. SHAME on Fairhaven!
Pat Hoosier December 29, 2012 at 04:23 PM
He's an adult living independently in an apartment on the complex. SHAME on YOU for not getting your facts in order before speaking.

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