Update: Man smoking while on oxygen caused fire

Wichita firefighters battle a high-rise fire at the Shadyway Plaza Towers in the 1400 block of N. Spruce in northeast Wichita on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016. (Photo: KSN/Shardaa Gray)

WICHITA, Kansas – One man was killed in a fire at a northeast Wichita high-rise. The fire broke out Sunday afternoon at the Shadyway Plaza Towers in the 1400 block of N. Spruce shortly before 12:30 p.m.

Wichita firefighters say the 70-year-old victim was killed due to smoking while on oxygen. He has not been identified. Firefighters say he called 911 via a medical device to report the fire.

A woman in the building also suffered smoke inhalation. She was taken to Via Christi St. Francis where she was listed in stable condition.

Fire Marshal Brad Crisp said it was a challenge to evacuate the building because the residents are mostly elderly.

“When fire crews arrived, their priority is obviously the safety of the people, but they also need to put the fire out,” said Crisp. “So they try to balance that with evacuating occupants who can’t evacuate themselves.”

Shadyway Plaza Towers is subsidized senior housing. Officials say the fire caused about $15,000 in damage.  Officials say there was no sprinkler system in the apartment.

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