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Cigarette, exploding oxygen tank causes fire

The Union Staff

A Grass Valley woman was burned over half of her body Tuesday morning when her home oxygen pump – attached to an oxygen tank – ignited by her cigarette, exploded and burned down her home on the 10000 block of Lovus Court.

Deborah Miller was airlifted to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento for burns she received Tuesday shortly before 6 a.m. in the house fire. She was listed in critical condition Tuesday afternoon.

Three of her family members received minor injuries in the fire, said Nevada County Consolidated Fire District Fire Chief Tim Fike.

Miller’s sister Dawn Minchinton suffered a burn on her hand and Miller’s son reportedly cracked his rib as he tried to escape the fire out a front window.

Miller’s husband Tom Miller was reportedly not injured.

Reported to be in her 50s, Miller had respiratory problems, Fike said, and required constant oxygen.

She was in her bed, hooked up to the oxygen and smoking a cigarette when it ignited the tank.

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