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Candle caused Nottinghamshire house fire that killed two people, inquest hears

The cause of a double fatal fire at Forster Street, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, in January this year has been ruled as accidental ignition from a candle by Mr Gordon Clow, Assistant Coroner for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

The inquest finished yesterday (Monday 14 November), with the court hearing how Mr Paul Foster and Mrs Jayne Foster died on 29 January 2022.

Mr Clow ruled that the medical cause of death for Mr Paul Foster was carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation, with a secondary cause of ischaemic heart disease.

Mrs Jayne Foster’s medical cause of death was ruled to be smoke inhalation injury, with a secondary cause of ischaemic heart disease.

The incident took place on 29 January 2022, when just before 7pm, a passer-by telephoned emergency services after noticing evidence of a fire at Mr and Mrs Foster’s home.

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Upon arrival, firefighters immediately identified a severe fire which had spread throughout the property.

Crews discovered Mr and Mrs Foster within the kitchen, and they were immediately rescued. Despite all efforts to resuscitate the couple, they were pronounced deceased at the scene.

Mr Clow said in his closing statement that “On 29 January 2022 Mr and Mrs Foster lit a candle in their bedroom and shut the door to the room.

The candle set a fabric cover alight and caused a major fire to develop in their bedroom, without their knowledge.

Some minutes later the door to the bedroom fell outwards as a result of the build-up of fire and super-heated smoke.

“That smoke then engulfed the property within seconds, overcoming Mr and Mrs Foster who were in the kitchen at the other end of their small property. This resulted in their very quick loss of consciousness.

“The alarm was raised by a passer-by and the fire service attended. Unfortunately, it was too late to save the lives of Mr and Mrs Foster, who were pronounced deceased at the scene. There were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the fire and there was no third-party involvement.

“I’d like to report my thanks to the brave young person who made the initial 999 call. He should be commended for his efforts.”

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service Group Manager and Fire Investigation Officer Chris Emmott said: “This was a tragic incident that sadly resulted in the loss of two lives. My thanks go out to the attending crews and Joint Fire Control operators for their quick work.

“We know that candles are frequently used within the home, but I would urge everyone to remember the potential dangers they present. Great care should be taken to ensure they are in correct holders, on a stable base. Keep flames away from anything that could catch fire, and never leave them unattended.

“Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service would like to offer our sincere condolences to Mr and Mrs Foster’s family for their loss, they will be dearly missed.”

If you’d like to book a home safety visit for you or your family, visit the Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service website.

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