THE DANGERS associated with leaving cigarettes carelessly have been addressed following an inquest into a tragic fire in Mancot, Flintshire last November in which an 80-year-old woman lost her life.

Vera Alice Louise Brindley was taken to hospital by ambulance with burns following a fire at her home on November 15, 2019, but sadly died in hospital.

This week's inquest (Monday, 9 May) concluded that the fire had started accidentally.

An investigation was carried out into the fire and concluded that the fire had probably been caused by a cigarette which had been left lit.

Speaking after the inquest, Mark Kassab from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, the fire investigator, said: "Firstly, I would like to offer my full condolences to the family and friends who have been involved in this tragic incident.

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“I was grateful during the inquest to hear the praise from Mrs Brindley's family for our staff and the crews who attended the event – their appreciation at this difficult time means so much to all of us who work to protect our local communities.

"This incident shows that a fire can happen anywhere, anytime and highlights the importance of having active smoke alarms in your home, and testing them regularly.

"Our control room had been alerted to the fire through a smoke alarm system.

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“Connected systems are monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and can contact our control room if smoke alarms sound – family and friends can take comfort in knowing that someone will be available in an emergency. Such systems are easily accessible.

"It is believed that the most likely reason for the fire was a cigarette having been left careless.”

Precautions to avoid cigarette fires in homes include never smoking in bed or lying down, never leaving a smokeable device unattended, buying lighters and matchboxes difficult for children to use, using non-combusting ashtray materials, and putting dust in the ashtray and not into bins containing other rubbish.

Mr Kassab added: "Smoke alarms save lives – the smoke alarm provides an early warning that can give vital minutes to help you escape without injury. It is also essential that you make sure that you have planned and practised an escape plan, which is clear without barriers and enables you to get out of your home quickly and safely in the event of a fire.

"For a safe and healthy check, call the freephone number on 0800 169 1234, email or visit our website:"