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E-cigarette suspected in fire in N.Y. hospital room

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 11:42 a.m. HST, Apr 22, 2014

SYRACUSE, N.Y. >> A New York hospital is reinforcing its ban on electronic cigarettes after a patient on oxygen was burned by a fire that erupted while she was puffing on one of the devices.

Syracuse Fire Department investigator Joe Galloway tells The Post-Standard the exact cause of last month's fire at St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center has not yet been determined. But he says the patient had a battery-powered e-cigarette, which uses a heating element to vaporize nicotine.

Hospital officials have not identified the patient. They say she suffered first- and second-degree burns across her face, but is home and doing well.

Since the fire, St. Joseph's officials have reminded patients they aren't allowed to use e-cigarettes. The hospital also prohibits tobacco use on its campus.

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