New London fire marshal: Cupping therapy caused Ocean Avenue fire

New London — Fire investigators have determined that misuse of the alternative medical technique called cupping therapy accidentally caused a fire Monday that damaged a home at 715 Ocean Ave.

Fire Marshal Calvin Darrow said cupping, which is usually performed by trained professionals and supposedly improves blood flow, involves soaking a cotton swab with alcohol and burning the oxygen from a cup. The cup is then placed onto the skin where it creates suction.

Darrow said the fire started in the bedroom of Unit 12 and burned much of the room and contents, causing an estimated $30,000 to $40,000 worth of damage. Two women were taken to the hospital, one for minor burns to her hands and another for smoke inhalation.

Smoke detectors were working properly in multi-unit dwelling though tenants were temporarily displaced, Darrow said.

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