Bedroom barbecue led to death of Bromsgrove man

By Beth Sharp Thursday 01 May 2014 Updated: 03/05 13:22

A BROMSGROVE man died using a disposal barbecue to cook food in his bedroom, an inquest heard on Wednesday (April 30).

Kelvin David Curtis was pronounced dead at his home in Bishop Hall Crescent, Charford, on January 7 after a fire was accidentally started in his locked bedroom.

Coroner Geraint Williams, at Worcestershire Coroner’s Court, recorded a verdict of accidental death by smoke inhalation.

During the hearing a statement from the man’s mother was read out - Mr Curtis had been living with his mother in the semi-detached house for six years.

It added how the unemployed 46-year-old was occasionally nocturnal, had a passion for technology and although was not diagnosed, had agoraphobic tendencies.

The statement said the fire alarm had gone off but she had presumed it was the living room log burner.

And, she had only noticed something was wrong when her son did not answer his bedroom door. When she kicked the door open she was thrown back by a cloud of smoke.

Unable to see anything, she began to feel around the room when she found her son’s leg she attempted to pull him out but she was unable to move him. She then rang 999 and ran outside to stop a passer-by for help.

Using breathing equipment and hoses, firefighters fought their way up to the smoke-logged landing but by the time they had reached Mr Curtis he had passed away.

A toxicology test showed no trace of alcohol or drugs in Mr Curtis’ body.

Fire investigations officer Martin Lown said burn marks found on the floor suggested it started at the bottom of the bed where the remains of three disposable barbecues and a variety of cooking utensils were found.

Mr Lown said: “Our thoughts are with the family after the tragic loss of their relative. We would urge members of the public to be aware of the instructions on disposal barbecues and to never use them in a enclosed spaces.”

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