Officials have determined what started a fire that injured an elderly Lewiston woman Thursday.

Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland says 74-year-old Rosalie Coulombe was injured in a fire that started because she was smoking while on oxygen inside her apartment. She suffered smoke inhalation and internal injuries and is currently being treated at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. Coulombe was on the couch when the fire started and was found by firefighters, unresponsive, in her bathroom. Neighbors reported the fire at around 8:00 Thursday evening when they noticed smoke coming from the apartment.

It was the second fire in the neighborhood in a matter of hours. An apartment building at 164 Pine Street in Lewiston had burned earlier when an air conditioner went up in flames at around 6 p.m. The air conditioner was located in a third floor window and, by the time crews arrived, was fully ablaze and pouring out thick, black smoke.

At least a dozen people were evacuated from the building safely, with no injuries reported. Neighbors told WGME-TV that the tenant had just brought the A/C unit home that day. Most of the tenants were able to return to their apartments later that night.

Fire inspectors will be on the scene of both buildings, that are just down the street from each other, to determine exactly how the fires started.

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