THE fire service is urging people not to smoke while hooked up to an oxygen cylinder after a woman suffered burns while lighting up.

The incident that prompted the warning happened in Manchester at about 1pm this afternoon.

The 60-year-old suffered burns to her face, hair and airway after lighting a cigarette and was taken to North Manchester General Hospital.

Station manager John Lake said: "These cylinders pump out oxygen which is five times purer than the air we breathe and with 100 per cent oxygen still pumping out as she tried to light the cigarette, it burst into flames.

"Burns to the airways can be very serious indeed, sadly I have been to three or four of these types of incidents recently, so please, if you have family members who smoke and are on oxygen, please tell them to stop, it's just not worth the risk."