From Polk County Coroner Tony Brazier:
Polk Co. 911 received an emergency call to a Clearwater St., Rockmart address at 2:56 a.m. this morning.
Apparently a flash explosion occurred from an Oxygen delivery device & had ignited while the victim was smoking a cigarette. The fire was quickly extinguished by the victim’s sister.
The Rockmart Fire Department, Redmond EMS & Rockmart P.D. were all on the scene within minutes.
Redmond Paramedics requested an AirLife Helicopter to a landing zone & the victim, identified as Tammie Ann Smith of Rockmart, age 60, was flown directly to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.
Doctors at Grady continued working aggressively with the victim, however, her condition steadily worsened and she was pronounced dead at 5:18 a.m. this morning from Inhalation Burns & Thermal Injuries to her upper body, according to Polk County Coroner Tony L. Brazier.
“This was a very sad, freak accident that claimed the life of 60 year old Tammie Ann Smith. ”
One of the most dangerous things that anyone on oxygen can do is to light a cigarette or ignite anything in its presence.
Not only can it cause flash fires but in certain circumstances it can erupt into an explosion.
Brazier asks that everyone please remember the family in your prayers.
MEDIA RELEASE – 9/30/19 – 11:06am
Around 2:56 a.m., E-911 was called to scene of a flash burn/explosion event at a house on Clearwater Street in Rockmart. At this point, a 60-year-old female with a history of breathing/respiratory problems on home oxygen was apparently smoking while on oxygen, causing the explosion. Rockmart Fire, Police and Redmond EMS were all on scene.
The woman was in respiratory failure and Air-Life helicopter was called to scene. She was airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. About six minutes out from the hospital, the victim’s condition went from critical to critical/unresponsive and she went into cardiac arrest. Upon landing at the hospital, CPR and resuscitation continued in the Grady Trauma Center but the patient was pronounced dead at 5:18 a.m. at Grady.
Rockmart Police are the lead investigators, along with coroner’s office. The victim’s identity will be released soon.