VIDEO: Safety campaign after fatal flat blaze believed to have been caused by e-cigarette

Fire safety officers in Penkett Road today. Picture: Paul Heaps

Fire safety officers in Penkett Road today. Picture: Paul Heaps

First published in News
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Wirral Globe: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A CAMPAIGN to try to reassure neighbours was launched today following a fatal fire believed to have been started by an electronic cigarette.

The body of a 62-year-old man was discovered in a flat at the rear of a property in Penkett Road, Wallasey, on Tuesday morning.

While the exact cause of death is yet to be established, the subsequent investigation by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service found that an e-cigarette that had been charging in the bedroom exploded, caught fire and ignited the oxygen tube of an oxygen concentrator, which may have been in use by the occupier.

An inquest will be held to determine the cause of the man's death.

It is the ninth fire involving e-cigarettes on Merseyside alone since the turn of the year, the fire service said.

It has launched a campaign to give help and advice on smoke alarms and the use of the devices and their chargers.

Fire service area manager Myles Platt said: "The investigation into the cause of this fire is continuing but at this stage it is thought that the charging device being used at the time may not have been the one supplied with the e-cigarette.

"We urge people to always use electrical equipment in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and guidance, always ensure that no electrical items are left charging overnight or left unattended for a long period when being charged and do not mix parts from different e-cigarettes.

"Only use the original charger or electrical cables supplied and ensure you purchase electrical items from a reputable source.

"We understand the impact tragic incidents such as these can have on families and the wider community. Firefighters will be carrying out community reassurance visits and highlighting home fire safety in the area."

Among those consulted by fire officers was the elderly man’s neighbour, Robbie Forbes, who said: "He’d only lived here for nine months, so I’ve only known him for a short time. He was a nice guy who kept himself to himself."

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