Warning issued after man dies in caravan blaze

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A Kings Clipstone man died from smoke inhalation after his caravan caught fire, his inquest heard.

Stephen Smith, aged 59, had been staying in the caravan in the grounds of a house owned by family members on Archway Road, when the blaze occurred on June 10.

Crews from Mansfield, Ashfield, Edwinstowe, Warsop and Worksop were called to the scene at 11pm after family members attempted to rescue Mr Smith from his caravan, but could not locate him.

The inquest heard Mr Smith’s caravan, along with two others, was severely damaged.

The fire is thought to have originated next to the cooker, due to the significant damage around this area.

Heidi Connor, assistant coroner for Nottinghamshire, was told Mr Smith regularly cooked on the premises, often with cooking oils to make fried food, including chips.

Reaching a conclusion of accidental death, she said: “This is a very tragic but clear case which sadly resulted in the death of Mr Smith.

“I have heard the most significant damage to the caravan was around the cooker.

“Therefore, the most likely version of events is Mr Smith had been cooking and a fire resulted from this.

Following the inquest, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service has urged people to be aware of the dangers of cooking.

Station manager Tom Clark, said: “We would like to express our condolences on behalf of the service to Mr Smith’s family and friends.

“It is important to make sure you don’t leave any cooking unattended or cook after drinking alcohol, as when attention stops, fires can start.

“Many people may be tempted to cook after drinking, perhaps following a night out.

“However, we would always urge you to avoid this, or get a takeaway instead.

“We would also like to stress the importance of swapping your cooking oils for a deep fat fryer which uses a thermostat to control the temperature of the oil to prevent it from overheating.

“This increases your safety and limits the possibility of oils catching fire.”