Man (51) overcome by fumes in chip pan blaze

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A Colne man who had a number of health issues was overcome by carbon monoxide fumes caused by a chip pan fire.

Mr Tony Sloane (51) had started to cook chips at his flat in Cleveland Street, Colne, but died after inhaling toxic smoke, an inquest heard this week.

Mr Sloane’s partner of 13 years, Miss Tracey Robinson told the inquest at Burnley Coroner’s Court that she called police after she had been unable to contact him in December.

When police broke into the flat on December 7th they were confronted by smoke and contacted the fire brigade who found Mr Sloane slumped on his bed.

Mrs Robinson, who did not live with Mr Sloane, said: “Tony was not well. He was not good on his legs and would take 25 to 30 tablets a day plus a daily injection. He was a very heavy smoker.

“Tony would fall asleep quite easily although he was always on the ball when he was cooking food.”

Fire investigation officer Watch Manager Craig Etherington told the inquest that toxic gases would have been prevalent throughout the flat.

He added: “We discovered a stainless steel pan with olive oil and burnt chips.

“The fire would have burnt for between 25 and 40 minutes.

“Deliberate ignition was discounted as a cause.”

Pathologist Dr Richard Prescott, who conducted the post-mortem examination, gave the cause of death as carbon monoxide toxicity. He said there was a 29% level of carbon monoxide in Mr Sloane’s body.

East Lancashire Coroner Mr Richard Taylor recorded a conclusion of accidental death.

He said: “We cannot be sure when the fire occurred.

“It appears Mr Sloane was cooking a meal and for whatever reason became distracted.

“He was then overcome by the smoke.”

It was revealed during the inquest that the flat contained a smoke alarm but without a battery.

To arrange for a smoke alarm to be fitted in your home visit www.lancsfirerescue.org.uk.