LAYTON -- The lit portion of a homemade cigarette landing in a trash can caused an estimated $35,000 worth of damage to a mobile home Monday night.
But it could have been worse if the flames had heated up the oxygen concentrator the woman had been using just prior to the fire, officials said.
"They're messing with a loaded gun," said Doug Bitton, public information officer with the Layton Fire Department.
The fire was reported at 9:23 p.m. when someone spotted black smoke coming out of a mobile home at Rolling Hills Estates, 2900 N. Hill Field Road.
A neighbor who smelled smoke came out to see what was burning and saw an elderly woman trying to get down her front porch steps. The neighbor helped the woman away from the home just as the bedroom window blew out and fire crews arrived.
It took crews 10 minutes to extinguish the fire, which was mostly contained to the front bedroom area. It also destroyed the oxygen concentrator, but the unit did not explode. The window blew out because of the heat from the fire, Bitton said.
The woman told fire investigators "a lit portion of her homemade cigarette she was smoking dropped in a garbage can near her bed and started to smolder and produce flames," Bitton said.
The woman pulled off her oxygen nose piece and left the room.
"She was really lucky and made a quick action to exit the room," Bitton said. "All oxygen cylinders and concentrators for medical use have warning labels indicating no smoking near or while units are in use."
Bitton said the fire department responded last year to a fire involving a man who had been smoking while using oxygen. He died from the flames.
"What happens is there is a flash flame to the oxygen and they go into shock so they breath deeper," which draws the flame down into their throat, Bitton said.