A woman who died in a fire just days after being arrested for arson was helped by council workers who had been cutting the grass nearby, it has emerged.
Police confirmed that a 44-year-old died following a fire yesterday in Mansfield Woodhouse.
The incident happened at around 12noon on a patch of grass, just behind Stow Court, which is accessed by Sedgebrook Street.
The area is just yards from Peafield Lane Primary School.
The woman has been named locally as mother-of-two young boys, Vanessa Lucas-Heathorn, a former Nottingham City Council worker who lived on Valley View, Mansfield.
She was reportedly found in flames and Mansfield District Council workers, who were cutting the grass in the area, and who attempted to save her by dousing her in water.
She was taken to Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment for her injuries, where she died in the early hours of this morning, Thursday 25th June. The death is not being treated as suspicious.
One woman, who lives nearby but did not want to be named, said she had been walking her dog around that area, but was met with a police cordon.
She said: “It was taped off and you couldn’t get any further, we knew it was something serious.
“We thought somebody had been attacked, then we found out it was a woman who had been in a fire.
“It’s horrendous, 44-year-old is no age, she was still only a young woman.”
Just days before, Ms Lucas-Heathorn had been involved in a house fire at her Valley View home.
She escaped through a window after a fire had been deliberately lit on the ground floor.
She was taken to hospital and released Monday, but was promptly arrested on suspicion of arson.
She appeared at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, where the case was referred to Nottingham Crown Court where she was due to appear on 21st July.
She was then granted bail and released.
Ms Lucas-Heathorn had featured in article in Chad prior to Christmas, when she feared that she would be evicted from her home over the festive period and left with nowhere to go.