A naked flame from a cigarette lighter was the most likely cause of a fire that led to the death of a Nottingham man, an inquest heard.
Coroner Dr Elizabeth Didcock ruled that Mr Allah Ditta, 44, of Toston Drive, Wollaton, died of burns and the inhalation of hot fire gasses during the fire, which took place at his home earlier this year.
This ruling came after a day-long hearing that took place at The Council House, Nottingham, on Friday (25 November), where Dr Didcock returned a narrative verdict.
The fire in question occurred in the early hours of Friday 27 May 2016 – and saw fire crews from Stockhill and Highfields be called to the incident at 4.45am.
On arrival at the scene firefighters entered the property and discovered Mr Ditta – who showed no signs of life. He was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after.
At Friday’s resulting inquest the court heard that the most probable cause of the fire was the ignition of the clothing worn by Mr Ditta, most likely from the naked flame produced by a cigarette lighter.
It is understood that Mr Ditta, and his clothes, became involved in fire and this subsequently spread to a bedroom on the ground floor. It is not clear, however, how this ignition came about.
Concluding the case, and offering her narrative verdict, Dr Didcock described the case as tragic and thanked the work of both Nottinghamshire Police and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service during the initial response and subsequent investigations.
“Mr Allah Ditta lived with his wife and three sons. He had worked all his life and was described as a conscientious and hardworking family man,” added Dr Didcock.
“Mr Ditta died at his home address of a fire that he set himself. He did have a history of depression, however it was not clear that this affected his actions.
“The cause of death is given as burns and inhalation of hot gasses.”
Off the back of the ruling, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to be wary of the devastation that fire can cause.
“What happened in this fire earlier this year was a complete tragedy, and our thoughts are with the family at this tough time,” said Station Manager Tom Clark, who heads up the Service’s Fire Investigation team and also was the lead investigator in this case.
“Sadly, this is another example of the devastation that fire can cause and we would really urge people to be wary of this and please follow the advice we give, particularly around things such as having escape plans and being careful with naked flames.
“It’s also worth noting that the alarm was raised in this incident by a working smoke alarm, and whilst unfortunately Mr Ditta lost his life, his wife and three children did escape safely. We really can’t emphasise enough the importance of having these devices on every level of your home.”