Naked flame from candle most likely cause of fire which led to Nottingham woman’s death

A fire which caused the death of a woman from Nottingham was most likely caused by the naked flame from a candle, an inquest heard.

Assistant Coroner Miss Amanda Cranny ruled that Mrs Sheila Jackson, 81, of Wilton Terrace, Old Basford, died of carbon monoxide poisoning following a fire at her home on 14 December 2016.

Firefighters from West Bridgford and Stockhill were called to the property by ambulance crews and found significant damage to the kitchen area where the fire had self-extinguished.

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Evidence was heard that Mrs Jackson frequently used candles in various rooms in her home, and that the most likely cause of the fire was a candle or match falling underneath the kitchen dining table where it then ignited combustible materials.

The court heard that Mrs Jackson was a much-loved member of the community and that neighbours called emergency services after becoming concerned for Mrs Jackson as she was not following her daily routine.

Giving her narrative conclusion, Miss Amanda Cranny, said: “Mrs Sheila Helen Jackson died on 14 December 2016 at her home as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning, which resulted from an accidental fire in the kitchen of her home.”

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She added: “I note that Mrs Jackson was a very independent minded woman who lived life the way she wanted with the support of a caring family and neighbours who looked out for her.

“I would like to express my thanks to the neighbours who raised the alarm and attempted to gain entry to the house, and it is nice to see in this day and age that there are people caring for others in the community.

“My condolences to Mrs Jackson’s family and friends and neighbours in her community in which I am sure she will be missed.”

Station Manager Tom Clark, said: “On behalf of Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, I would like to express our condolences to the family and friends of Mrs Jackson.

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“As the ruling of this inquest shows, sadly, fire can have fatal consequences and we would like to remind everyone of the importance of using candles safely and ensuring that these are extinguished after use.

“If you are lighting candles regularly, please make sure that you are using candle holders and ensure that you never leave these unattended.

“If you are concerned about fire safety in the home, either for yourself, a loved one or neighbour, you can contact your local fire station to request a free Home Safety Check (HSC) which will assess potential risks and fit smoke alarms if needed.”