Pensioner dies in accidental house blaze

An 86-year-old man has died after a fire broke out at his home in Wakefield.

Fire engine.
Fire engine.

Firefighters from Wakefield, Ossett and Normanton were called to a terraced house in Hudswell Street at around 10.30pm on Wednesday, January 18.

The man was found dead in the living room of the property, where the fire had taken hold.

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Fire investigation teams said the cause of the blaze is believed to be accidental, triggered by a dropped cigarette.

Area manager for fire safety Chris Kirby said: “Our deepest condolences go out to the family of this gentleman.

“The case is now in the hands of the coroner who will establish the full facts of what happened.

“However, we would like to re-issue our general fire safety advice around cigarettes and smoking materials, which are a frequent cause of the accidental fires in homes we attend year on year.

“If you are smoker, please take a moment to review our guidance.”

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service issued the following advice after the blaze:

- Never smoke in bed. Take care when you’re tired – it’s very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning and set furniture alight.

- Never smoke indoors when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If your lit cigarette starts a fire you could be less able to escape.

- Put it out, right out. Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished.

- Fit a smoke alarm and test it weekly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.

- Never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended – they can easily overbalance as they burn down.

- Use a proper, heavy ashtray that can’t tip over easily and is made of a material that won’t burn.