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.
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.