Alarm could have saved blaze death taxi driver

Bangor Mail - - PUZZLES - The emer­gency ser­vices at the scene of the fire ear­lier this year

ATAXI driver who died in a house fire could have been alerted to dan­ger by a smoke alarm, said a coro­ner

Michael An­thony John Beeby, 57, who had worked for Try­fan Cabs in Ban­gor for around 20 years, died in hospi­tal af­ter the blaze broke out in his home in Erw Las in Bethesda.

Fire in­ves­ti­ga­tor Geraint Bowen Hughes told his in­quest at Caernar­fon that a care­lessly dis­carded cig­a­rette prob­a­bly caused the blaze.

He said no smoke alarms were found in the prop­erty, which he de­scribed as un­kempt and full of bags of rub­bish.

North Wales se­nior coro­ner Dewi Pritchard Jones con­cluded that Mr Beeby died as a re­sult of an ac­ci­dent.

“If there is one les­son to be learned from this in­ci­dent, it is that a smoke alarm could have alerted him and given him the op­por­tu­nity to get out of the prop­erty,” he said.

Fire­fight­ers were called to the prop­erty at about 10.40am on June 5 this year, and found smoke com­ing out of the house.

“The first crew forced en­try into the prop­erty and fire­fight­ers wear­ing breath­ing ap­pa­ra­tus found a blaze in the liv­ing room and ex­tin­guished it,” said Mr Hughes.

“They then used a ther­mal imag­ing cam­era to search the prop­erty and found Mr Beeby in the front bed­room and brought him out.”

He was given emer­gency first aid treat­ment by fire­fight­ers and paramedics at the scene, be­fore the air am­bu­lance took him to the ma­jor trauma unit at the Royal Stoke Hospi­tal, but he died of his in­juries later that day.

Pathol­o­gist Dr Mark Lord said he found no ma­jor trauma but Mr Beeby had suf­fered the ef­fects of smoke and breath­ing car­bon monox­ide fumes.

He said the cause of death was due to smoke in­hala­tion caus­ing a swelling of the brain.

Mr Hughes said an in­ves­tiga- tion be­gan as soon as the blaze was ex­tin­guished.

He said the fire was pri­mar­ily in the liv­ing room and cen­tred around the sofa.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­cluded a cig­a­rette thrown into a waste bin had not been ex­tin­guished prop­erly and may have smoul­dered for some time be­fore de­vel­op­ing into a blaze.

Smoke from the fire would have made its way up­stairs and into the room where Mr Beeby was sleep­ing, he said.

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