No smoke alarms fitted at Kentish Town flat where terminally ill woman found dead after fire
- Credit: Archant
An inquest into the death of an elderly terminally ill woman who died in her council flat after a fire has heard there were no smoke alarms fitted in her property.
Valerie Willis, 74, was found dead in bed at her ground floor flat in Countess Street, Kentish Town, after firefighters were called to the property just after 2pm on April 18.
An inquest was opened yesterday but had to be adjourned to allow further inquiries to be made with Camden Council about why smoke alarms had not been installed.
The court heard how Ms Willis, who was a smoker, had become frail, relying on others to support her.
Following her death, family in Liverpool said the pensioner had been battling breast cancer for some time before discovering the illness was terminal.
Watch manager at Dowgate Fire Station, Matthew Cullen, gave evidence during the brief hearing at St Pancras Coroner’s Court.
He said on arrival fire fighters saw smoke billowing out from the door and forced entry in to the flat. They began fighting the flames before discovering Ms Willis on her bed in her nightdress.
- 1 Barnet: Three arrested as victim of fatal stabbing named
- 2 Covid-19: Hospital admissions and bed occupancy continue to fall
- 3 Man in his 30s stabbed to death
- 4 St John's Wood nursery 'requires improvement' after surprise Ofsted visit
- 5 Spurs survive 'Lasagna-gate 2' and it's over to Arsenal
- 6 Court: Disciplinary rules not followed in 'unfair' sacking, lawyer suggests
- 7 Motorcyclist injured in Highgate Hill collision
- 8 Barnet: Two men charged following fatal High Road stabbing
- 9 'The law isn't important to us': Car tyres deflated by activists in Camden
- 10 Hampstead woman tells tribunal of alleged racist discrimination
Mr Cullen said no smoke alarms were found in the property, prompting deputy coroner Selena Lynch to adjourn the hearing until Camden Council had been consulted about the matter.
After the hearing was adjourned, the local authority said it does not fit smoke detectors for council tenants but strongly recommends they take advantage of free home visits and alarms from the fire brigade.