Faulty gas fire may have caused fatal blaze in city

Scene of fatal house fire.
Scene of fatal house fire.

A faulty gas heater is thought to have caused a fire that killed a man as he slept at his house in Beighton.

Firefighters said the property in Poplar Avenue in which Richard Hobson died on Monday afternoon, had not been fitted with smoke alarms.

It’s difficult for me to say whether this would have made the situation any different, but there would have been a much earlier indication there was a problem,” said station officer Andy Strelczenie.

Mr Hobson, a forklift truck driver at Arnold Laver, who was in his 60s, shared the rented semi-detached house in which he was born with his mother Kathleen, aged 88, who used a clothes prop to bang on his bedroom window as the fire took hold, and his sister, Anne.

Neighbours tried to tackle the blaze, but were beaten back by the intense heat and smoke.