Warning after man dies accidentally from exposure to a naked flame


​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.

Senior Coroner, Miss Mairin Casey, ruled that Mr Dale Woodward, of Scarcliffe Street, Mansfield died of burns and inhalation of fumes during a fire which took place at his home last year.

The fire in question happened on Saturday 16 September, and saw fire crews from Mansfield, Blidworth and Ashfield attend.

At Tuesday’s inquest (6th February), the court heard that the cause of the fire was the ignition of clothing worn by Mr Woodward, most probably from the flame produced by a cigarette lighter.

It is understood that Mr Woodward had been drinking before the incident, with the post mortem showing that he was more than double over the drink drive limit.

Concluding, Miss Mairin Casey added: “It’s clear that in this case Mr Woodward had been drinking and due to the level of alcohol which he had taken, his judgement and reaction time may have been impaired. It is a stark reminder to everyone to remain vigilant and alert to hazards within our own home after we’ve been drinking.

“This is a very tragic case and I share my condolences with Mr Woodward’s friends and family.

Station Manager Tom Clark, who leads the Service’s Fire Investigation team, and was also lead investigator in this case said: “Our thoughts are with Mr Woodward’s family and friends.

“We are not suggesting for one minute that people shouldn’t enjoy having a drink within their own home, however as highlighted by this case there is the potential for things to go wrong – and in this instance the consequences were tragic. It is worth bearing in mind that when your attention stops – fire can start.

“It would appear that Mr Woodward was potentially distracted in this instance. We want you to enjoy yourselves and ask that you do so safely.

“Similarly, if you return home from a night out refrain from trying to cook any food as there is an increased potential for you to become distracted and a fire to start.”

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