Discarded match caused pensioner’s death

Bulwell house fire, Grindon Crescent.
Bulwell house fire, Grindon Crescent.

The flame from a discarded match was the probable cause of a fire that led to the death of a Bulwell man, an inquest heard.

Coroner Ms Mairin Casey ruled that Mr Roy Gadsby, 88, of Grindon Crescent, Bulwell, died of asphyxiation following smoke inhalation after the fire developed in his property earlier this year.

The hearing took place on Friday July 24, and saw Ms Casey give a narrative verdict.

Mr Gadsby died in hospital on Saturday, April 4 after he was admitted with smoke inhalation following a fire at his Bulwell home the previous day.

Fire crews from Stockhill, Hucknall and Tuxford rescued Mr Gadsby from the fire and extinguished it using breathing apparatus and hose reel jets. He was then conveyed to hospital by East Midlands Ambulance Service.

Three members of the public had attempted to gain access to the property shortly before firefighters arrived, but were unable to rescue him.

“The fire was probably caused by the ignition of bedding on a single bed, the source of ignition being the flame from a discarded match,” Ms Casey said.

“Roy Gadsby was a vulnerable individual brought to the attention of the fire and rescue service and given advice and provided with fire retardant bedding that he had not used.

“He had three neighbours – Linda Webb, Carl Redmond and Roy Large – who made heroic efforts to save him without regard for their own safety and, without them, he would most probably have perished inside the flat.

“Every agency had done everything they could to encourage Mr Gadsby’s cooperation but sadly, he failed to have regard to the advice given and this ultimately led to his death.”

Following the ruling, Group Manager John Mills, Head of Fire Protection and Fire Investigation for Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, is asking that anybody who knows somebody who may be at risk of fire - like Mr Gadsby - to get in touch and help NFRS prevent any more tragic fire deaths.

“What happened is a tragedy and, along with thinking of those connected to him and those involved in the incident, the staff of NFRS are deeply affected by someone losing their life in a fire,” added GM Mills.

“Ms Casey noted in her findings that we, and colleagues from other services, did lots to help him. We must continue that community safety work with the aim of preventing others from dying in fires.

“People do not always see themselves at risk of fire so if you know someone like Mr Gadsby and you want to help, please contact us – it may be, through working together with friends, family and neighbours, that we can make the difference to someone else.”

Ms Casey also noted that there were working smoke alarms in operation in the property and the service is urging people across Nottinghamshire to ensure that they have working smoke alarms in their homes - and that they test them regularly.