Fatal fire started accidentally by cigarette

An investigation into a Stoke-on-Trent house fire that claimed one life has found it started accidentally.

Emergency services were called to the property off London Road in Stoke at around 11.45pm last night (9 January).

They found the building had been divided into a number of flats, and residents from the other units in the were evacuated, and both gas and electricity supplies isolated.

One man was pronounced dead at the scene.

A joint fire and police investigation has found the blaze started in his bedroom.

Group Manager, Ian Housley who attended the scene said: “The fire was confined to one room with some minor smoke and heat damage elsewhere.

"Despite the best efforts of everyone who attended, it was clear nothing could be done for the man who lived in the flat and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

“The detailed fire investigation carried out this morning has shown the cause to have been a cigarette which set fire to bedding. Sadly, this is a common problem with house fires.

"Figures from the last 10 years show that, in 48 per cent of fatal fires, the householder was a smoker and in a large number of these fires, smoking was the cause."

Another ten people were assessed by paramedics, with two women and a man taken to the Royal Stoke University Hospital for treatment to minor injuries - though one was not for issues related to the fire. 

Formal identification of the deceased man is yet to take place.

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