Cigarette fire killed woman

The house at Neville Close in Pitsmoor, where Jean Dawson died in a fire.
The house at Neville Close in Pitsmoor, where Jean Dawson died in a fire.
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A DISABLED Sheffield pensioner died after a cigarette she was smoking set fire to a polyester blanket wrapped around her, an inquest was told.

At mortem showed Chain smoker Jean Dawson, 83 died from severe burns and smoke inhalation following a fire in her home on Neville Close, Pitsmoor.

The inquest was told that Mrs Dawson was wheelchair after suffering a stroke and lived with her daughter Tina Lord at the specially adapted property.

On the day of the fire Mrs Dawson was sitting in a chair in her downstairs bedroom when she dozed off at which point Tina went into the dining room across the hall.

After around ten minutes Tina heard a smoke alarm sound and ran to her mother’s bedroom.

As she opened the door there were clouds of smoke through which Tina could just make out that her mum was on fire.

She screamed for help and a neighbour ran into the house.

Between them they tried to drag the chair away from the smoke and flames but were unable. Tina then went to the kitchen to get a bowl of water which she used to douse the flames.

By the time Fire Fighters arrived shortly afterwards the fire was out and Mrs Dawson was ferried by ambulance to the Northern General Hospital where she died the following day.

Fire investigation officer Paul Beetson told the inquest the cigarette had caused the fire when it was dropped onto the blanket covering Mrs Dawson who smoked between 60 and 80 cigarettes each day.

Mr Beetson, who is now retired, explained there were several more burns on the chair and more still on a bedside table which showed Mrs Dawson had carelessly discarded cigarettes regularly.

Coroner Donald Coutts Wood recorded a verdict of accidental death.