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Officer, neighbors rescue men from burning home

By Scott Doane, Producer ,
Chris Loveless, Digital Content Director ,
Published On: Aug 07 2013 07:35:53 AM CDT
Updated On: Aug 07 2013 01:12:33 PM CDT

Officer West (Left), Richard and Robert Silva (Upper right)
Courtesy: The Pueblo Police Department

PUEBLO, Colo. -

Two men were injured in a house fire in Pueblo Tuesday night (8/6/13).

The fire sparked at home in the 300 block of north Glendale Avenue around 11 p.m.

The Pueblo Police Department says Officer West (no first name provided) and two neighbors, Richard and Robert Silva, helped the men escape the flames.

One of the men was unconscious and not breathing when he was rescued, but Officer West was able to revive him.

Both men were taken to a Denver hospital and are reportedly in critical condition. One dog died in the fire.

Firefighters were able to put out the flames within an hour, the fire department said.

Investigators think the fire started when one of the men was smoking while on oxygen.

At least one explosion was reported during the fire, and it is believed that the source was a medical oxygen bottle that ruptured.

“We have experienced several tragedies within recent months involving the extreme danger of combining medical oxygen use and smoking,” said Fire Chief Chris Riley. “I cannot adequately express our anguish with witnessing the continued loss of life and property to an action that is so entirely preventable.”

The Pueblo Fire Department says five people have died in fires caused by smoking while on oxygen in the past two years.