Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service is emphasising the importance of fire safety, following an inquest into the death of a Nottinghamshire woman during a fire last November.
After a hearing that took place virtually at The Council House, Nottingham today (Thursday 6 May), Mr Gordon Clow, Assistant Coroner for Nottinghamshire, ruled that Mrs Lynette (Mary) Shaw, 75, of Manor Close, Costock died from the inhalation of smoke and products of combustion during the fire at the home she shared with her husband, who escaped with minor injuries. Mr Clow returned a verdict of accidental death.
He said the fire was caused either by something capable of igniting a fire being moved from the kitchen to the utility room, where the fire started, while Mrs Shaw was cooking or a fluorescent electric light in the utility room.
The intense, rapidly spreading fire was discovered at 3.22am on Saturday 7 November and saw Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service fire crews from East Leake, West Bridgford, Highfields, London Road, Mansfield, Castle Donington and Shepshed responding to the fire, with additional fire crews from Stapleford, Stockhill, Eastwood and Newark later assisting throughout the following days.
Mr Clow described the case as 'a terrible accident and a terrible tragedy' and thanked the Fire and Police Services for their thorough investigations and close liaison.
NFRS Fire Investigator Tom Clark said: "Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mrs Shaw and, on behalf of NFRS, I offer my sincerest condolences at this time. This tragic incident reminds us all of the devastating consequences that a fire can have and I would urge everyone to take a moment to check their own homes. We would encourage people to take great care when cooking or using electrical items and to make sure they have a working smoke alarm on each floor of their property.
"We offer free Safe and Well visits to vulnerable people to check all aspects of safety in the home, not just fire safety. I would also urge everyone to ensure older relatives and neighbours have the correct fire safety measures in their homes, particularly during this difficult period of isolation in our lives."
NFRS offers the following safety advice:
extinguish a pan fire with a damp tea towel, never water, and don't try to carry it outside
keep your kitchen clean and free of fat, grease, crumbs or unnecessary combustible items
keep tea towels and curtains away from appliances
don't wear loose clothing while cooking
avoid distractions when cooking and, if you need to leave the room, remove pans from the heat
check that cookers and other electrical appliances are switched off when not in use
avoid overloading electrical sockets
don't use appliances with frayed or exposed wires
only buy electrical products with a British or European safety mark
get your electrics checked every 10 years
if a fire occurs, get out, stay out and call 999 immediately.