Fatal Stoke-on-Trent fire started accidentally

An investigation into a fire in which a Stoke-on-Trent man died has established that it was caused accidentally.

Crews were called out at a property on Grange Road in Meir shortly before 2.25pm on Friday (April 7).

96-year-old John Tune was pronounced dead at the scene.

Neil Burton, who completed the fire investigation, said: “We worked with our fire investigation partners from the West Midlands and a forensic officer from Staffordshire Police to carry out a fire investigation. This found that this was a tragic accident and our thoughts are with the friends and family of John.

“It seems the most likely cause of the incident was the electric heater in the living room - we believe that John’s clothing came into contact with the heater and then set alight.”

Donna Broadhead, Prevent Manager for the Northern Service Delivery Group, added: “This is a very tragic accident. John had mobility issues and was elderly, two factors which we see repeatedly occurring in fatal fires. Through our recently launched SAME campaign we are trying to raise awareness that these factors, along with smoking and alcohol, make people more vulnerable to dying in a house fire.

“We are doing everything we can to reduce the risk of fire to the most vulnerable in our communities, working hard to provide Safe and Well visits to all those who are affected by one or more of the factors.

“Unfortunately those that are vulnerable don’t always realise they’re at risk and so we need the friends, relatives and neighbours of elderly people to ensure they are safe from fire in their homes – understandably a lot of people lead very busy lifestyles, but making just a quick five minute phone call to us means we can give life-saving advice and if appropriate arrange to carry out a free Safe and Well visit.

“As part of our preventative work we will look at visiting John’s local area to provide targeted advice and guidance to residents.”


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