A tenant smoking a cigarette while on oxygen and improper disposal of smoking materials was the cause of an apartment fire Wednesday night in Oakland, according to Oakland Fire Chief David Coughlin.

The fire at 46 Oak St. displaced about eight people from a four-unit apartment building and sent one person to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Fire damage was contained to a second-floor apartment where the fire broke out, but a first-floor apartment sustained heavy water damage and the other two apartments were damaged by smoke, Coughlin said.

For now, he said, the building is uninhabitable.

It is owned by Tory Stark, who said he was thankful everyone was able to get out safely and that all smoke detectors and fire alarms were working.

“Most of the tenants have renters insurance, so either through their insurance or mine, they will be put up someplace if their areas are unlivable,” he said. He said the building will be repaired.

The fire is considered accidental and no charges will be filed, Coughlin said. He said the name of the smoker, who was taken to the Thayer Center for Health in Waterville for minor injuries, was not immediately available.

Stark also declined to give the name of the tenant who had been smoking, saying Thursday morning he didn’t yet have all the information about the fire’s cause and did not want to release personal information about a tenant.

“The only other thing I would say is this is a cautionary tale as to why people shouldn’t smoke,” he said.

The fire was reported at 8:12 p.m. and drew a response from about 40 firefighters from Oakland, Belgrade, Sidney, Rome, Smithfield, Winslow, Fairfield and Waterville, as well as Delta Ambulance and Oakland police.

Central Maine Power Co. turned off power to the apartment complex, which appeared to be two buildings that are connected — a beige building with green shutters across Oak Street from The Korner Store, and a blue building on the High Street side.

Bethany Stevens, who lives across High Street from the building, said she heard the sounds of windows cracking and large booms. When she went outside to look, she saw flames coming out of the second-floor windows where she thinks a kitchen is located.

“I heard all the busting windows, and there were like three big boom sounds,” Stevens said. “I came out after the fact. I heard some screaming. It just went up very quick, but the firefighters got here really fast, fortunately.”

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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