Kansas City, Mo. A 49-year-old cancer and tracheotomy patient who fell asleep while smoking through his stoma, the hole in this throat, lit his futon and nearly himself on fire Saturday morning before being rescued by neighbors.
The man lived in a first-floor studio apartment at 4354 Mission Road in Kansas City, Kan. A neighbor, Bob Brewer, 51, smelled smoke coming from the adjoining apartment shortly after 10 a.m.
Brewer rushed to get the manager of the apartment complex. Together, they entered the apartment from which black smoke was billowing. They crawled in, dragged the unconscious man off his futon and onto the grass just outside the front door. The victim began breathing in the fresh air.
Paramedics and the Kansas City, Kan., fire department responded within minutes, doused the fire, and set the smoldering futon mattress outside. The victim was treated and released from St. Joseph Health Center.