Cancer patient on oxygen dies as cigarette sparks fire

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A CANCER patient has died after suffering burns when he sneaked into a toilet at the Western General Hospital to have a cigarette despite being on oxygen.

The 65-year-old suffered burns to his face after a fire broke out in a toilet in a first-floor ward, He passed away 48 hours later.

The pensioner is believed to have removed an oxygen mask attached to a small portable tank before lighting the cigarette, sparking the blaze at 4pm last Wednesday.

The man had terminal lung cancer and hospital bosses are understood to believe that his illness, rather than the injuries from the fire, caused his death.

Fire crews were called after an alarm was triggered on a ward at the hospital’s Anne Ferguson building. By the time firefighters arrived, the patient had been taken away for treatment, leaving them to put out the blaze in minutes.

NHS Lothian’s chief operating officer Jackie Sansbury said the fire service were investigating the cause of the fire. She added that staff had responded quickly and made sure patients on the ward were safe.

Firefighters faced a busy start to the year.They dealt with a road smash on Colinton Road at the junction with Glenlockhart Road at 5.32pm yesterday when two cars collided.

An 82-year-old man had to be cut out of a vehicle before being taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary along with a 50-year-old man.

At 6.03pm yesterday, a collie cross called Sam slipped from the dockside at Victoria Quay in Leith and fell 2.5 metres into the water. The dog managed to scramble onto a wooden bollard floating in the water before firefighters were able to rescue the pet using an inflatable sled.

A short time later, firefighters were called to Murrayburn Place after a fire broke out in a second floor flat. The fire was already extinguished when firefighters arrived but a 27-year-old man needed treatment after suffering serious burns.

A man and a woman were treated for smoke inhalation after a fire started at a home in Bingham Broadway at 9.25pm yesterday.

And firefighters were called to Morrison Street shortly after midnight today and found rubbish alight in the stairwell of a tenement. A group of ten people in a third-floor flat were left trapped, with firefighters advising them not to leave the home due to the smoke.

A ladder was extended to their window so firefighters could give them reassurance until the blaze was extinguished.