Pensioner died in tragic accident with cigarette lighter, inquest heards

Police outside student accommodation in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth on Friday Picture Ben Fishwick

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THE death of a great-grandfather as he tried to refill a cigarette lighter was a tragic accident, a coroner has ruled.

Charles Wilson, known as Chaz, was helping his wife Betty to refill an ornamental silver aeroplane cigarette lighter with lighter fluid when some spilt on him and was ignited by a spark.

It happened at his home in Rookwood View, Denmead, on August 18 last year.

Mr Wilson, who was 92, and his wife were both immobile and suffered from arthritis.

He was unable to get up from the armchair, the inquest heard.

A passerby, who was visiting her mother in the supported living complex, rushed in to help and rescued Mrs Wilson from the property.

She went back inside and poured washing up bowls full of water over Mr Wilson to put out the flames.

He was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, suffering from severe burns and then transferred to the specialist burns unit at Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, West Sussex.

He died the next day.

Mrs Wilson died a few weeks ago, having never got over the terrible loss of her husband.

Coroner David Horsley ruled that Mr Wilson’s death was an accident.