Woman dies after suffering severe burns in Wicker Park fire

Chicago firefighters responding to reports of smoke inside a Wicker Park apartment building this morning discovered a badly burned woman who had been smoking while hooked up to oxygen, authorities said.

The fire inside the woman's second-floor apartment in the 1500 block of North Hoyne Avenue was already out -- extinguished by the sprinkler system -- by the time firefighters arrived around 5:10 a.m., officials said.

They found the woman, Molly Harris, 63, with burns over 90 percent of her body, officials said. Harris was pronounced dead at 3:15 p.m. at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County

Harris was taken by advanced life-support ambulance to Stroger Hospital. Officials at the time said her prognosis was "poor."

Since January, at least two people in Chicago have been injured while smoking cigarettes as they were using an oxygen tank. This is the second fatality.

Smoking around oxygen tanks is responsible for about 1,190 thermal burns seen in hospital emergency rooms each year, according to a 2008 report from the National Fire Protection Association.


Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad