Wednesday 24 January 2018

Pensioner died in a fire at his home

A verdict of accidental death was recorded in the inquest into the passing of a Ferns pensioner at Wexford Coroner's Court last Thursday.

82-year-old Patrick Colfer, Main Street, Ferns, perished in a fire at his home in the early hours of November 26, 2015.

The deposition of his widow Betty was read into the court by Inspector Pat Cody who said that on November 25, 2015 Mr Colfer suffered a fall at his home following a weakness. He was helped into his bed in the front sitting room by neighbours and his wife sat with him until 5.20 a.m. on the morning of November 26.

She then went upstairs to bed and at 5.50 a.m. smelt smoke. Going downstairs she saw smoke in the front hall and kitchen. In the kitchen she saw the body of her husband on the floor near the electric heater which she immediately plugged out.

She went across the road to Applegreen Service Station and met Paul Martin from Bunclody who was getting fuel. He ran back to the house with her and rang the fire brigade.

They both went into the house which was now ablaze forcing Mr Martin to retreat, bringing Mrs Colfer with him.

A number of men who were passing in a van were unable to get into the house because of the flames.

Garda Paul Quirke gave evidence that he had attempted to get into the house through the front and rear doors but had been unable to because of the extent of the fire.

The body of Mr Colfer was later recovered by the fire service in the kitchen of the home.

Pathologist Dr Fergus McSweeney said that the post mortem results indicated that Mr Colfer would have died suddenly in the flash fire.

County coroner Dr Sean Nixon said that the cause of death was death by fire and recommended that the jury return a verdict of accidental death.

Sympathies were extended to Mr Colfer's family by Dr Nixon, Inspector Cody and the jury.

Wexford People

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