Sick smoker died in blaze

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A DISABLED pensioner who died from burns had ignored advice not to smoke while using oxygen apparatus, an inquest heard.

Lesley Naylor, aged 69, a former health and safety officer, had a fractured spine, lung disease and diabetes and was on a permanent oxygen supply at home.

She suffered burns to her face, neck and chest when she fell asleep while smoking and using oxygen.

The inquest heard Mrs Naylor, from Hope, agreed not to smoke during visits from carers after social services staff raised concerns.

Pc Craig Giles was driving through the village when he spotted the blaze at Mrs Naylor’s home in Castleton Road.

A window had been blown out and flames could be seen inside the lounge.

The front door was wide open and Pc Craig discovered her inside a porch.

He said: “She was extensively burned. She was conscious with flames still around the bottom of her feet and legs.”

He put out the flames with an extinguisher from a police car and, with another officer, dragged Mrs Naylor away from the house in case of an explosion.

Neighbours were evacuated by police and firefighters and paramedics arrived.

Mrs Naylor was rushed to Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital but died that day.

Pathologist Dr Deirdre McKenna gave the cause of death as extensive skin burns.

Friend Lynne Fearns told the Chesterfield inquest: “She often fell asleep in her chair, leaving a lighted cigarette in the ashtray.”

Neighbour Elizabeth Wright said: “It was an accident waiting to happen.”

Paramedic Martin Hill said he had told her not to smoke while using oxygen but she told him not to lecture her.

A fire service investigation found oxygen from the apparatus intensified the fire.

Nigel Anderson, deputy North Derbyshire coroner, recorded a verdict of accidental death.