Cumbria

Carlisle man burned to death in chair

A 68-year-old man died in his chair after a discarded match set it on fire, the fire service has said.

Firefighters said the chair became engulfed in flames while the victim was sitting in it at the flat in Newton Close, Carlisle, on Wednesday evening.

The chair was old and Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service urged householders to replace non flame-resistant furniture.

A spokesman said the man had been too overcome by flames and smoke to escape.

It is believed the match had been thrown into a bin in the living room of the property without being put out properly.

'Spread quickly'

Firefighters using breathing apparatus had to force their way into the flat after being called just after 19:00 BST.

Cumbria's assistant chief fire officer Adrian Buckle said: "This tragedy highlights the importance of fire retardant furniture, cushions and bedding.

"Due to its age, the chair was constructed of non-fire retardant foam and fibre filling which the initial fire investigation has identified as the primary cause of the blaze developing.

"Fire can spread incredibly quickly and it takes hold much more rapidly if it involves older items that don't conform to current fire safety standards."

He added: "I'd urge people to check items around their home to make sure they are fire retardant and look at updating them if possible.

"Replacing out-of-date furniture does not need to be a major expense - many second-hand furniture stores and social enterprises such as Impact stock furniture that meets modern standards."

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