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Monday 1 September 2014

Hoarder (80) died after fire in home

Gareth Naughton

Published 11/01/2014 | 02:30

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An 80-year-old hoarder died after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning from smoke inhalation when a fire broke out in her apartment, an inquest heard.

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Marie Mapother died at St Vincent's Hospital on November 27, 2012, three months after the blaze at her apartment at Rowan House, Mespil Estate in Dublin 4.

Dublin Coroner's Court heard that the fire broke out in the bathroom of Ms Mapother's apartment in the early hours of August 29. Gardai were called to the scene by a neighbour complaining that someone was loudly banging on their door.

Garda Dermot Delaney said that when they arrived they saw smoke coming from the third floor. They broke down the door of Ms Mapother's apartment but were repelled by thick black smoke. They then attempted to tackle the blaze using a fire hose present in the hallway but when they tried to activate it, it did not function correctly, he said.

When firefighters entered the apartment, they found Ms Mapother lying on the bedroom floor. She was breathing but initially was unresponsive. She was taken to St Vincent's Hospital where she remained until her death.

The pathologist gave the cause of death as resolving aspiration pneumonitis due to carbon monoxide poisoning caused by smoke inhalation sustained in the fire.

Scenes of crime examiner Garda Joseph McDonnell said there was evidence of "hoarding", with large collections of clothes, papers, food cartons and plastic bottles "strewn" throughout the apartment.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell returned a verdict of death by misadventure.

Irish Independent

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