A wheelchair-bound resident in an Ohio nursing home is dead after smoking a cigarette while holding his oxygen tank.
Joseph Konopa, a resident at Grande Oaks Nursing & Rehabilitation in Oakwood, Ohio, was found “smoldering” on a sidewalk near his burning wheelchair when police responded to a 911 call, according to station WJW in Ohio.
“I arrived and noticed there was a wheelchair that was smoldering in front of the building with a male laying on the ground, face down,” Oakwood Village Police Detective Ed Thyret reportedly said.
A motorist who spotted flames outside the nursing home called emergency responders shortly after noon on April 17. When Detective Thyret arrived on the scene, he was unable to save Konopa, 63, who wasn’t breathing and had no pulse. The fire department arrived soon after and the victim was rushed to an area hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
The caller who alerted 911 to the fatal accident pleaded with police to “Help him!” according to Newsweek.
Police saw burn marks on the victim’s face, according to Cleveland 19 news. They also report a pack of cigarettes and a lighter were recovered at the scene. Foul play is not suspected.
A nursing home spokesperson told News 5 Cleveland they couldn’t discuss details regarding their resident’s personal matters, but will cooperate fully with investigators.