Sheriff: Woman had smoked before fatal oxygen tank explosion

A North Carolina sheriff's office says a woman has died after her cigarette ignited the oxygen tank she was using

ZEBULON, N.C. -- A North Carolina woman died when the cigarette she was smoking ignited her oxygen tank and caused a small explosion and fire, authorities said.

The Nash County Sheriff's Office issued a news release saying that 61-year-old Belinda Coble died Tuesday morning in Zebulon, about 30 miles (48 km) from Raleigh.

The news release said Coble was being administered oxygen for medical issues and was smoking a cigarette, which caused the tank to ignite. Authorities said it caused a small explosion and fire that killed her.

Her husband was asleep in another room and awoke to the sound of their smoke alarm. He put out the flames with a fire extinguisher and called 911, according to the release. Authorities believe his wife was already dead when he called authorities.

Responding deputies, firefighters and EMS workers found her dead when they arrived.