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Quorn widow's tragic death - 1927

Loughborough Monitor and Herald - 12th May 1927

Danger of old people living alone - Coroner's warning at inquest.

The danger of old people living alone was tragically illustrated at Quorn on Saturday evening when an old lady fell down while carrying a lighted candle and set fire to her bed, and was so severely burned that she died next morning in Loughborough Hospital. Deceased was Ann Andrews, who lived in North's Yard, Quorn.

At the inquest, before Mr H J Deane, on Monday, John Brown, bricklayer, 20 Barrow-road, Quorn, said deceased was his aunt. She was a widow, 89 years of age, and lived by herself. She had her bed downstairs, and was well looked after by Mrs Corah, a neighbour.

Alice Corah said she had been attending the old lady for the past twelve months. She went in about 5pm on Saturday, and deceased was then as usual, and was just going to bed. About 11pm witness' son came home and said smoke was coming from the house. They called up Mr Stocks, a neighbour, who burst in the door. The room was at once enveloped in flames, and they could not get in until buckets of water were thrown in and the fire put out. The bed mattress and the table were burning. Deceased was carried into witness' house, and Dr Unitt and the police were sent for.

In answer to the Coroner, witness said there was no fire in the grate as it was always put out when deceased went to bed, which was about 5pm. Deceased told witness she had fallen with the candle in her hand. Witness knew she often got up in the night, and had something to eat. She would not let witness have the key of the house, but witness always looked through the window to see that she was alright.

PC Cave said after taking deceased to Loughborough Hospital he examined the house and found the straw mattress on the bed and the table had been on fire, and it appeared as though they had been smouldering for a considerable time. A candlestick lay on the floor.

Dr Alice Mary Brummitt, house surgeon at Loughborough Hospital, said deceased was badly burned on the face, body and limbs, and died on Sunday morning from shock consequent on these injuries.

The Coroner's verdict was that death was due to shock consequent on burns accidentally sustained, and added: "I must point out once again how dangerous it is for old people to be absolutely alone in their own homes and have no one to go to their aid in case of need. I realise quite fully how much they cling to their independence, and resent having anyone, as they think, to supervise them in their old age. This old lady, like many others, insisted on being mistress in her house to the last, and I am afraid has met with her death in consequence."

   
 Submitted on: 2010-12-07
 Submitted by: Kathryn Paterson
 Artefact ID: 1015
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page

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