Five Tacoma firefighters were injured Monday night when a ceiling collapsed on them during an apartment fire. Two residents were also injured, according to the Tacoma Fire Department.
The two-alarm fire in the 7600 block of Pacific Avenue broke out just after 9 p.m. after a resident who was on supplemental oxygen lit a cigarette, according to fire spokesperson Joe Meinecke.
The two injured residents were transported to a hospital, as were two of the firefighters. Except for one resident, all were treated and released.
The first firefighters on scene reported heavy smoke and flames in a second story. The fire eventually entered an attic space. It took crews about 45 minutes to extinguish the flames, Meinecke said.
Five of the ten units were damaged and nine residents were displaced, according to Tacoma Fire.
Pure oxygen can greatly intensify flames as it did during Monday's fire, Meinecke said.
"It's never OK to smoke while you're using your oxygen," Meinecke said.