Mansfield man died in fire accident after drinking session

Nottinghamshire's Coroner, Mairin Casey, who warned at the inquest of the hazards at home after drinking.
Nottinghamshire's Coroner, Mairin Casey, who warned at the inquest of the hazards at home after drinking.

A 44-year-old Mansfield man died when he accidentally set fire to his clothes after he had been drinking, an inquest heard.

Dale Woodward, of Scarcliffe Street, Forest Town, died of burns and inhalation of fumes in the blaze at his home on Saturday, September 16 last year.

Nottinghamshire’s Coroner, Mairin Casey, was told that the fire was probably caused by a naked flame, produced by his cigarette lighter, which set alight the clothes he was wearing.

The post mortem showed that Mr Woodward was more than double the drink-drive limit, and Miss Casey issued a warning about the dangers of drinking, even at home.

She said: “This is a stark reminder to everyone to remain vigilant and alert to hazards within our own home after we’ve been drinking.

“It is clear Mr Woodward had been drinking, and due to the level of alcohol which he had taken, his judgement and reaction time may have been impaired.

”This is a very tragic case, and I share my condolences with Mr Woodward’s friends and family.”

Fire crews from the Mansfield, Blidworth and Ashfield stations battled the blaze.

Station manager Tom Clark, who led the fire service’s investigation team, said: “We are not suggesting that people shouldn’t enjoy having a drink within their own home. However, there is the potential for things to go wrong.

“In this instance, the consequences were tragic. It would appear that Mr Woodward was potentially distracted. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

“We want everyone to enjoy themselves, but ask that they do so safely. It is worth bearing in mind that when your attention stops, fire can start.

“Similarly, if you return home from a night out, refrain from trying to cook any food because there is an increased potential to become distracted, and for a fire to start.”