Cigarette lighter warning from Staffordshire Fire Service after two deaths

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Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has warned of the dangers of cigarette lighters following the deaths of two people in the space of a week.

Firefighters were called to a house on Old School Lane, Meir, at around 9.30am on Sunday, February 15, and found that householder Neil Gratton, 62, had died.

His clothes had caught fire.

On February 9, an 87-year-old woman from Ashbourne Road, Uttoxeter, died after her clothes caught fire.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service said both deaths could be attributed to the use of refillable cigarette lighters.

Spokesman for the service Dean Stevens said: “It is a very sad situation that two people in the county have lost their lives in this way in such as short space of time, taking the number of fatalities caused by smoking materials to five since last April alone.

The vast majority of our fatal fires involve elderly people and we are coming across a number of recurring factors that are either contributing to the fire occurring or the individual’s ability to escape – factors such as being a smoker or drinker, having mental health issues, having physical disabilities, being isolated and having poor living conditions” 

Firefighters and community safety officers will be in the area offering free Home Fire Risk Checks.

Mr Stevens added: “The visits are completely free of charge and can have life changing and potentially life-saving consequences for residents.

“If you know someone who could benefit from a check, please call us as soon as possible on 0800 0241 999 and we can arrange a convenient time to visit.

“They often don’t take long to do but they do have a long-lasting safety effects.” 

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