Dangers of carelessly discarded cigarettes highlighted after inquest into Mancot fire

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The dangers of carelessly discarded cigarettes were highlighted following an inquest into the tragic fire which occurred in Mancot last November and claimed the life of an 80 year old woman.

Mrs Vera Alice Louise Brindley was transferred to hospital by ambulance suffering from burns following a fire in her home on the 15th of November 2019 but sadly died in hospital.

The inquest this week (Monday May 9th) concluded that the fire was accidental.

Crews from Deeside and Buckley were called to the property at Prince William Gardens and rescued Mrs Brindley from the property. She sadly later died.

A subsequent fire investigation concluded that the fire was most probably caused by a carelessly discarded cigarette.

Speaking after the inquest, Mark Kassab from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, who was fire investigator for the incident, said: “Firstly, I would like to pass on my condolences and deepest sympathy to the friends and family involved in this tragic incident. I was humbled during the inquest  to hear the praise from Mrs Brindley’s family for our staff and the crews who attended the incident – their appreciation at this difficult time means so much to all of us who work to protect our local communities.

“This incident demonstrates fire can strike anywhere, anytime and highlights the importance of having working smoke alarms in your home, and testing them regularly.

 demonstrates fire can strike anywhere, anytime and highlights the importance of having working smoke alarms in your home, and testing them regularly.

“Our control room was notified of the fire through a linked smoke alarm system. These linked systems are monitored 24 hrs a day, 365 days per year and they can contact our control room if smoke alarms are activated –  family and friends can be safe in the knowledge that there will be someone on hand in an emergency. They are easily and readily available.

 “The most probable cause of fire is believed to be a carelessly discarded cigarette.

"By following the simple precautions below, smokers who do not yet feel ready to give up their cigarettes can help prevent a fire in their home:

  • Take extra care when you're tired, taking any sort of drugs or have been drinking alcohol. It's very easy to fall asleep without while your cigarette is still burning
  • Never smoke in bed - if you need to lie down, don't light up. You could doze off and set your bed on fire
  • Never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended - they can easily overbalance as they burn down
  • Buy child-resistant lighters and matchboxes - every year children die by starting fires with matches and lighters. Keep these where children can't reach them
  • Use a proper, heavy ashtray that can't tip over easily and is made of a material that won't burn. Make sure your cigarette is not still burning when you are finished - put it out, right out
  • Tap your ash into an ashtray, never a wastebasket containing other rubbish - and don't let the ash or cigarette ends build up in the ashtray

"Smoke alarms save lives - the early warning provided by a smoke alarm can provide vital minutes to help you escape unharmed. It’s also vital to ensure that you have a planned and practiced escape route, which is clear and free of obstacles, which allows you to get out of your home quickly and safely should a fire occur.

 “For a free safe and well check call our freephone number on 0800 169 1234, e-mail cfs@nwales-fireservice.org.uk  or log on to our website www.northwalesfire.gov.wales.”

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