Small busi­ness sup­port Man died af­ter cig­a­rette set fire to bed Le­gal Brief­ing

In a weekly col­umn for the Star, so­lic­i­tor Juliet Phillip­sJames casts her ex­pert eye over a range of le­gal mat­ters and urges any­one with any ques­tions or prob­lems to come for­ward for help.

Llanelli Star - - Letters - Laura Clements @lau­ra­j­clem [email protected]­di­ 01792 545547

MP Nia Grif­fith and AM Lee Wa­ters joined Llanelli’s mayor and coun­cil­lors in the town cen­tre on Small Busi­ness Satur­day to en­cour­age res­i­dents to shop lo­cal.

Small Busi­ness Satur­day takes place on the first Satur­day of every De­cem­ber and aims to sup­port small busi­nesses in the lo­cal com­mu­nity in the busy run-up to Christ­mas.

Ms Grif­fith said: “Small busi­nesses help to keep our town vi­brant and unique, so it is vi­tal that we cel­e­brate the con­tri­bu­tion they make to our com­mu­nity and make the most of them.

“It def­i­nitely is a case of use it or lose it, so let’s make sure we sup­port the lo­cal as­sets we do have, from the tra­di­tional mar­ket to new busi­nesses in the Step­ney Ar­cade.”

Mr Wa­ters added: “It’s re­ally im­por­tant to sup­port our lo­cal busi­nesses. It’s been shown that a pound spent with a lo­cally owned firm does much more good in the lo­cal econ­omy than a pound spent with a large firm.” A MAN who lived a “no­madic life­style” died af­ter ac­ci­den­tally set­ting fire to his bed, an in­quest heard.

Marchello Cu­sano, from Llanelli, was found dead in his room by fire­fight­ers when they were called to a fire at his ad­dress in Ge­orge Street.

An in­quest on Fri­day heard it was likely he had died af­ter fall­ing asleep in his bed while smok­ing.

The 35-year-old had a his­tory of drug abuse but was start­ing to turn his life around, the in­quest was told.

He had just found per­ma­nent ac­com­mo­da­tion in a sin­gle room at a house in mul­ti­ple oc­cu­pa­tion owned by hous­ing char­ity Caer Las.

On April 11 hous­ing of­fi­cer Sharon Thomas ar­rived at the house at around 2pm hav­ing ar­ranged to meet a po­ten­tial new res­i­dent. She Seion, Cyn­hei­dre, Als, im­me­di­ately heard the sounds of a smoke alarm com­ing from Mr Cu­sano’s room.

She tried to get into the locked room but the thick black smoke forced her back and she phoned the emer­gency ser­vices, the in­quest was told.

Christo­pher How­ells, who com­manded the Mid and West Wales Fire Ser­vice crew at the time, said he was con­fronted with a “sig­nif­i­cant and ful­ly­de­vel­oped fire”.

It took fire crews sev­eral hours to bring the fire un­der con­trol, which closed Ge­orge Street for much of the af­ter­noon.

They dis­cov­ered Mr Cu­sano’s body on the floor with burns to his face and body. A post-mortem ex­am­i­na­tion said he died as a re­sult of ex­po­sure to fire and smoke.

CCTV footage from out­side the house showed Mr Cu­sano “stag­ger­ing” past the front door at 12.51pm, around an hour be­fore the fire started. He then turned around and let him­self into the prop­erty.

The fire in­ves­ti­ga­tion, car­ried out on the same day, found no source of ig­ni­tion for the fire although the dam­age was worse around the head of the sin­gle bed where Mr Cu­sano slept.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­cluded the fire had been started, “on the bal­ance of prob­a­bil­ity”, by a smoul­der­ing cig­a­rette.

Mr Cu­sano, who was de­scribed by his fam­ily as a “happy and bub­bly” man, en­joyed lis­ten­ing to the Amer­i­can rap­per Tu­pac. He was close to his grand­mother who he had called the “rock of his life”.

He had had an un­set­tled child­hood af­ter his par­ents split up and he grew up in foster care.

Mark Lay­ton, coro­ner for Car­marthen­shire and Pem­brokeshire, con­cluded an ac­ci­den­tal death.

“What­ever the cause of the fire trag­i­cally Mr Cu­sano was un­able to get out,” he said. “It may well have been a dis­carded cig­a­rette.”

Sup­port for Small Busi­ness Satur­day in Llanelli.

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