Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Portsmouth man Charles Wilson died from lighter fluid burns

A great-grandfather set himself alight while refilling his wife's aeroplane-shaped cigarette lighter, an inquest has heard.

Charles Wilson, 92, from Portsmouth, died of third degree burns following the fire at his retirement bungalow last August.

He unknowingly spilled lighter fluid on to an armchair he was sitting on, which ignited as he went to use the lighter.

Coroner David Horsley recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Mr Wilson, a retired engineer known as Chas, died in hospital the day after the fire at his Denmead bungalow on 18 August.

Due to mobility problems and arthritis, and despite the efforts of the bungalow's warden and a neighbour's daughter, Mr Wilson was unable to get out of the chair as the fire took hold.

He was eventually taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth before being transferred to a specialist burns unit at East Grinstead's Queen Victoria Hospital.

Mr Wilson's daughter, Carole Bennett from Eastleigh, said her mother Betty, who also died recently, was found inside the property suffering from shock.

She said: "It was a tragic accident. He was all for family and he loved his family.

"He was always ready to face a challenge, to help anyone. He had a great sense of humour."

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