A SECOND World War veteran died in his home in a fire started by his pipe, an inquest heard.
Oliver Minchin, 93, died at Preston Road, Abingdon, on January 26, after the blaze, Oxfordshire Coroner’s Court was told yesterday.
The court heard fire crews from Abingdon and Didcot arrived at the home at about 6pm after receiving two 999 calls.
Watch manager Mat Nind said the most probable cause of the fire was Mr Minchin dropping his lit pipe or tobacco on to his chair in the kitchen.
He added that a carbon monoxide alarm in the home activated, and that two pipes, a bag of tobacco and a knife were found on a silver trolley next to Mr Minchin, who had suffered severe burns.
Neighbour Monica Wreyford told the hearing in a statement that she visited Mr Minchin to give him his meals and that he had eaten cheese and biscuits at about 4pm.
At about 6pm her husband told her that Mr Minchin had set his house on fire.
Earlier this year she said Mr Minchin had served on battleships during the Second World War and survived two torpedo attacks.
Consultant pathologist Dr Lucy Winter, who carried out a post-mortem examination, said the cause of death was smoke inhalation and severe burns.
Mr Minchin, a retired accountant and widower, was also suffering from lung cancer but had told his GP he did not want it to be treated, the court was told.
Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter recorded a verdict of accidental death. He said: “The most probable cause is the lit pipe or tobacco falling on to the fabric of the chair he was sitting on.”
• Our top stories:
8:30am Saturday 1st August 2015
DEVELOPERS wanting to transform Cowley’s Templars Square Shopping Centre said they hope their plans will spur more development in the area.
5:13pm Saturday 1st August 2015
A FLASHER exposed himself to a woman in Bury Knowle Park yesterday.
11:41am Saturday 1st August 2015
Fire crews have put out a house fire in Sibford Gower.
9:00am Saturday 1st August 2015
SAVING a man from a burning house was not the first heroic deed by postman Tony Rendell.
8:00am Saturday 1st August 2015
A WOMAN hit a row of taxis in Abingdon town centre yesterday after a “medical episode”.
7:00am Saturday 1st August 2015
A JUDGE spared a convicted drug dealer more time in jail for giving his friend £100,000 of drugs money to buy a house.