Cigarette Ignites Oxygen Supply, Killing Las Cruces Man

Las Cruces – Earlier this morning at approximately 11:45 a.m. Dona Ana County Sheriff's Deputies and fire personnel responded to the 570 block of Thorpe Road, after a Senior Services Meals on Wheels worker noticed an elderly man lying unresponsive on the kitchen floor.

When Sheriff's Deputies and Investigators entered the residence, they discovered JERRY PARRA, age 78, dead from what appeared to be third degree burns covering his entire body and his clothing completely burned away.

From evidence at the scene, it appeared that PARRA, who was on oxygen at the time, attempted to light a cigarette, causing the oxygen to ignite, engulfing PARRA'S entire body in flames.

The flames were contained to the immediate area near where PARRA was sitting at the time.

The residence, when Sheriff's Deputies entered, was still smoke filled.

PARRA'S body was sent to the Office of the Medical Investigator for an autopsy.

Foul play is not suspected. Tentatively, PARRA'S death had been ruled accidental.