Farm Ireland

Tuesday 23 April 2019

Fumes of cigarette fire in bedroom killed farmer (80)

Letterkenny courthouse
Letterkenny courthouse

Stephen Maguire

A number of cigarette butts were found in the bedroom of an 80-year-old farmer who died in a fire at his home.

James Campbell, from Cloghan, Co Donegal, was killed after a blaze broke out in the bedroom.

An inquest into his death at Letterkenny Courthouse heard Mr Campbell was found at the back door of his home at Glassaghbeag on March 10, 2017.

Home-help Eileen Hearn called to Mr Campbell's home about 1.30pm that day.

When she got to the door she saw a large amount of smoke.

She called another home-help and they immediately summoned the emergency services.

Fireman Stephen McDermott managed to take Mr Campbell out onto the street where he was attended to immediately. He was unresponsive.

Dr Eamon Murphy arrived and pronounced Mr Campbell dead at 2.22pm.

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Crime scene officer Garda John Harkin said he carried out a full examination of the scene of the fire.

He said he believed the fire was confined to Mr Campbell's bedroom and told the hearing the area of most intensity was the left-hand corner of the bed.

He said that he found numerous tipped cigarette ends on the bedroom floor as well as a box of Benson and Hedges cigarettes.

He said that the house had one smoke alarm which did not have a battery. But he added that the smoke alarm was so far away from the fire that it may not have made a difference.

Pathologist Dr H Gyorfly said there was no real evidence of burns but said Mr Campbell was covered in soot.

He said the cause of death was carbon monoxide inhalation.

Coroner Dr Denis McCauley said it was obvious that the victim had been overcome with fumes.

He added that the death was an accident due to a house fire.

Irish Independent