Fatal fire at pensioner’s home ‘accidental’

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An investigation into a fire at a pensioners home concluded that the blaze was cause by smoking materials.

Brian Wheatley, 80, was rushed to hospital on the evening of July 29 with serious injuries following the fire at his house in Springfield Gardens but died in the early hours of Thursday July 31.

A fire investigation has concluded that the fire was ‘accidental’ and was as a result of smoking materials.

Neighbours spoke of their shock about what happened and people have paid tribute to the former miner and pub landlord on Facebook.

Father-of-two Mr Wheatley lived alone and was visited by carers. The emergency services were called to the scene by a neighbour .

Charlotte Walker, 22, told the Advertiser that she and her boyfriend heard an alarm and saw the smoke when returning home from a meal out.

She said: “We opened the door and saw the flames. My boyfriend Jack called 999 and asked for all three emergency services.

“A neighbour then pulled up in a car and came to help. We opened the door even more and saw the flames. He was sitting in a chair in the living room.

“The people living next door to him put the flames out with a hosepipe and opened the window inside the house.”

A tribute by Leanne Cumberpatch on Facebook said: “So sad, so honoured to have met and cared for him.”

An inquest will be opened into the tragedy.