Officials Identify Man Who Died in Island Pond Road Fire

The New Hampshire State Fire Marshal’s Office has identified the man who died from burn injuries after a home fire resulting from smoking around oxygen materials.

The deceased was identified as John Foley, 79. In a fire May 20 on Island Pond Road, Foley sustained severe burns and was transported first to Parkland Medical Center and then to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, where he died May 22.

The announcement was made by State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan in conjunction with Derry Fire Chief Michael Gagnon and Police Chief Edward Garone.

According to a press release, the joint investigation confirmed that “smoking materials caused the ignition of clothing and other combustible materials in the immediate area of the victim. These materials were enriched by the use of medical oxygen, which supported the rapid development of the fire.”

Degnan stated, “There is no safe way to smoke when using home oxygen.” The use of smoking materials as well as other sources of ignition, such as candles and matches, in the area of medical oxygen is extremely dangerous, he said.

Degnan further warned that people who are on medical oxygen may have difficulty escaping a fire. He encouraged those sharing a home with a person using oxygen to make sure their smoke detectors are working and used throughout the home.