Sproughton: Blaze tragedy pensioner was found slumped behind door

SPROUGHTON: A pensioner died trying to escape from his burning house, an inquest has heard.

Emergency crews forced open the front door of George Scott’s home as fire ravaged the kitchen and found the 81-year-old’s body lying behind it, with the key lost in the blaze’s debris.

During an inquest into Mr Scott’s death at Ip-City, in Bath Street, Ipswich, HM Coroner Peter Dean said: “The deceased would have been able to exit the property through the rear patio doors which opened by sliding a latch, the front window was also smashed by the heat of the fire.”

However, he explained to Mr Scott’s daughter, Virginia Scott-Gray, that her father would have quickly succumbed to the smoke.

“It would have affected how he would have behaved and might have explained why, rather than go to another exit, he went the way he did.”

Mrs Scott-Gray was staying with her father at his home in Beech Close, Sproughton, when the fatal fire broke out on August 9.

In a statement prepared for the coroner she explained that when she left the house at 8.30am Mr Scott was still in bed.

Most Read

She returned at 10.30am and saw smoke pouring from the windows at the front of the property.

The coroner read: “She couldn’t see through the window but could see there was a fire, she was concerned her father could be inside.”

Her suspicions were confirmed when firefighters carried her father’s body from the house.

The coroner told the family that the fire started in the kitchen and is likely to have been the result of an electrical appliance malfunctioning, possibly the kettle.

“Conclusive proof could not be established because the fire damage was so extensive.”

He recorded a verdict of accidental death as a result of the fire.

n Would you like to pay tribute to Mr Scott? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk