HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Hanover County Fire Department is urging people to take precautions after cigarette smoking caused a deadly fire at an apartment complex on Garden Park Lane on Saturday morning.
According to the fire department, 71-year-old Selina Rand was rescued from an apartment as the fire quickly spread and taken to VCU Medical Center where she died.
There were two other occupants who were treated for injuries at the scene and one firefighter who was treated for minor injuries at a nearby emergency room.
The fire department says the fire was accidental.
Investigators first believed it was an explosion but have since determined the fire spread quickly as it was fed by oxygen. The rest of the apartment units were not damaged. The one unit’s damage is estimated to be about $36,000.00.
After the fire was determined to be caused by smoking, the Hanover County Fire Department shared tips on how to prevent similar incidents. People are encouraged to only use fire-safe cigarettes, only smoke outside, keep smoking materials away from children, use a sturdy ash try and keep ashes away from flammable objects. When throwing out butts make sure they are fully extinguished and not throw into vegetation outside.
People are advised to never smoke anywhere near medical oxygen which can cause fires to spread faster than normal.