Two houses catch fire in Roswell; one kills couple | KOB 4

Two houses catch fire in Roswell; one kills couple

J.R. Oppenheim and Casey Torres
March 27, 2018 05:15 PM

ROSWELL, N.M. -- A Roswell couple died when an oxygen concentrator sparked a house fire Monday night, according to a fire department spokesperson.


The Roswell Fire Department Fire Marshal's Office believes an open flame, potentially a cigarette or cigarette lighter, was used too close to the oxygen concentrator and caused the blaze, Public Information Officer Todd Wildermuth said.

The fire primarily burned in the front living room of the southeast Roswell home, and Wildermuth said firefighters contained it quickly. An 88-year-old man and a 69-year-old woman suffered burns and smoke inhalation, and they died at a Roswell hospital.

"I was on the next block and we kept hearing the ambulance and the fire trucks just coming over here," said one neighbor, Isaac Archuleta.

Archuleta said he knew his neighbors for most of his life, helping them whenever they needed a hand. He said he did not expect this. He had helped his neighbor on Sunday when she fell down, leaving him with a moment he will never forget.

"She grabbed my hand and she said your hand is so warm, and like she held it and put it to her head and she held it there for like 15 minutes," he said. "And I just stood there and after that, I came back and that happened."

Another fire earlier in the day broke out at a northeast Roswell mobile home. The fire marshal believes a discarded cigarette ignited that fire. Firefighters rescued a 59-year-old woman, and she was treated for smoke inhalation. They also saved a dog and a cat.

However, the fire caused extensive to the front of the home and the attic.

Wildermuth said an off-duty firefighter saw the smoke from the mobile home fire and tried to rescue the woman before crews arrived. That off-duty firefighter also sustained smoke inhalation.


J.R. Oppenheim and Casey Torres

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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