Fatal flat bedroom blaze started accidentally

FIRE investigators have confirmed that a fire at a flat which claimed the life of a man in Stoke-on-Trent started accidentally.

Crews were called to the property off London Road, Stoke at 11.45 pm last night ( Jan 9).

Crews from Hanley, Newcastle and Longton attended and for the duration of the incident closed a section of the main road for the safety of emergency responders and other road users.

Firefighters used breathing apparatus and a hose reel jet to extinguish the fire which had been confined to one room in the building. 

A Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said the property is divided into a number of flats and residents from the other units in the building were evacuated and both gas and electricity supplies isolated.

A number of the occupants were assessed for the effects of smoke inhalation by colleagues from West Midlands Ambulance Service with three people taken to hospital as a precautionary measure, one of which was not related to the fire. All three were subsequently released from hospital. 

A joint investigation with Staffordshire Police into the cause of the fire was carried out this morning (Thursday). Investigators have found it started accidentally in the man’s bedroom. 

Fire service group manager, Ian Housley who attended the scene said: “The fire was confined to one room with some minor smoke and heat damage elsewhere.

” Despite the best efforts of everyone who attended, it was clear nothing could be done for the man who lived in the flat and he was pronounced dead at the scene. 

“Thirty-nine per cent of those who died in a house fire were regular drinkers. In a number of cases alcohol was a contributing factor as to why the fire started – often with people being intoxicated and then falling asleep whilst smoking or cooking food.

“These two factors, along with mobility issues and being elderly, make up the four most common factors involved in fatal fires.”