Firefighters battle blaze in Peoria's West Bluff

By Beau Ebenezer

October 18, 2012 Updated Oct 18, 2012 at 9:19 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- A house fire is under investigation after it caused medical oxygen tanks to explode.

At the time one elderly woman was home.

She was injured and one of the family's two pets died.

It seemed like a typical week for mother and caretaker, Dawaya Jordan.

But at around 8 a.m. Thursday, Jordan returned home from taking her kids to school when horror struck.

"I got closer to the house and I saw I have no windows, the house is burnt up. I couldn't even breathe when I saw it, I just fell out. I couldn't even breathe," said Jordan

The house sitting at 1325 Bourland Street in Peoria was up in smoke and the causes of the fire were unknown.

"There was nothing on. No lights, the stove wasn't on. It was unplugged actually. The only thing that was running was my grandmother's oxygen purifier," said Jordan.

Firefighters on the scene immediately retreated from the house following the explosion of two medical oxygen tanks for the family's grandmother living inside.

"Extremely lucky. With the explosion that went off from those tanks that knocked the side of the wall out, it very easily could have taken someone's life," said Battalion Chief, Kent Seiler.

Officials say medical companies are required to report any oxygen tanks put in homes, but they say it's severely under-reported.

Family members say they've lost everything but one of their family pets that was treated with oxygen following the fire.

"To watch this I'm thinking my kids could have been in here. And I'm so blessed that my daughter wasn't at home and my grand kids weren't home," said Jordan's mother, Dianna Brown.

Officials say the cause of the fire is still under investigation and the grandmother of the family is in the hospital with burn injuries.

They are telling those who have oxygen tanks in their home to check with the supplying medical companies to see if they've been reported it to the fire department.

A damage estimate is unknown at this time.

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