A DISCARDED cigarette was the cause of a fire that claimed the life of a Selston pensioner on Saturday.
Sixty-six-year-old Eric Stone was carried out of his bungalow by firefighters after they were called to the property on Alfreton Road shortly after 6.30am but he was certified dead at the scene.
An investigation in the cause of the fire concluded that it was started by a cigarette that was not fully extinguished before Mr Stone went to bed.
The fire slowly developed overnight in the front room and the smoke spread throughout the property but there were no smoke alarms fitted.
Fire investigator station manager Glenn Mears said the incident highlights the dangers associated with smoking materials and the importance of fitting smoke alarms
“This is a very sad way for a man’s life to end,” he said.
“Cigarettes, lighters and matches are one of the main causes of domestic fires and can lead to a fatal outcome, as this incident sadly shows. If care is not taken to dispose of them carefully and to make sure they are properly extinguished, they can start a fire that might take time to develop, but can spread without being immediately noticeable.
“This makes smoke alarms even more important – giving early warning of a developing problem. And if it’s in the middle of the night, you need that extra alert to give you time to escape the property safely and call the emergency services.
“Smoke alarms are readily available from DIY stores, they are not expensive, and they are easy to fit. They should also be tested regularly to make sure they are in proper working order. Buy it, fit it, test it. They have the potential to save lives and property.”