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:
7:43am Saturday 31st January 2015
IT'S been snowing overnight in Oxfordshire and here's some of the pictures our readers have sent in.
9:00am Saturday 31st January 2015
THE POPPY Appeal’s fundraising target has been smashed in the county.
3:17pm Saturday 31st January 2015
THREE men have been arrested after a man was left with "serious injuries," police say.
1:20pm Saturday 31st January 2015
A British military healthcare worker has been brought back to England for Ebola monitoring after suffering a needle-stick injury while treating a person in Sierra Leone.
9:30am Saturday 31st January 2015
Danny Hylton has warned Oxford United will get “eaten alive” at Stevenage today unless they match their hosts’ appetite for a battle.
8:30am Saturday 31st January 2015
BUILDERS and Oxford University dons have celebrated “topping out” one of Oxford’s newest and most prominent buildings.