AN ELDERLY man died of carbon monoxide poisoning after his kitchen caught fire.
The inquest into the death of Norman Greenaway heard how he left food in a saucepan unattended on the cooker and, when he returned, the hob was on fire.
Portsmouth coroner David Horsley concluded the 86-year-old died in an accident from carbon monoxide poisoning, which was lower than the fatal amount, due to suffering from heart disease.
Evidence from David Lock, a fire investigation officer, found that Mr Greenaway, of Arismore Court, in Lee-on-the-Solent, had tried to put the fire out but was overcome by the fumes and collapsed.
He said: ‘From the evidence at the scene, I believe that Mr Greenaway was cooking on the hob and left the saucepan unattended.
‘When he returned the hob was on fire and in an attempt to put it out he moved the pan onto the draining board where it set fire to plastic containers.
‘There is further evidence that his clothes then caught fire.’
He added that Mr Greenaway would have been overcome by the fumes from the burning material and fainted.
Mr Greenaway’s nephew James Moorey paid tribute to his ‘kind’ uncle.
He said: ‘My uncle was a decent, kind man. He loved playing tennis and loved all his nieces and nephews
‘He was strong and independent.’
During the inquest into Mr Greenaway’s death on January 29 it was revealed that he did not have a fire alarm installed.
Mr Horsley said: ‘It is vital that people realise the importance of fire alarms.
‘If one had been installed, the fire might have been detected sooner.’