Anita Hanks, 33, died after the blaze in her Carlton flat on 2nd October 2017. An inquest has heard a fault with the fridge freezer was the likely cause.

Fire crews attended the fire at the block of flats, on Walton Court, at around 7:45 am but were unable to save her. Mairin Casey, HM Coroner for Nottinghamshire, found that Ms Hanks had died from inhaling fire gasses following the fire at her home at the inquest on 5th June 2018.

It is believed that the flexible cable supplying power to the appliance had become damaged at some point, potentially when the appliance was moved or had become trapped beneath fridge freezer. The coroner stated that it was “an incredibly rare set of circumstances” that started the fire.

Crews from Arnold , Carlton and Stockhill arrived to find that the fire had self-extinguished, and found significant damage to the fridge freezer, which is believed to be where the fire originated.

Returning a narrative conclusion, the coroner said Ms Hanks would have been overcome by fumes.

“The situation that led to this was most likely to have been developing over a period of time and we cannot be fully sure how the cable became damaged,” she said.

“I am satisfied following such a detailed examination of the appliance that there were no technical problems, and I would like to thank the manufacturers for their assistance with the investigation.

“I would like to express my most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Ms Hanks and I would like to recognise the bravery and courage of her friends who, when they found out she was in trouble and that her flat was on fire, did everything they could to try to save her.”

Following the inquest, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service said it would like to highlight the importance of correctly installing appliances and to follow guidelines issued by manufacturers.

Ian Tomlin, fire investigation and arson reduction officer at NFRS, said: “As Ms Casey has said, this is an incredibly rare occurrence and, on behalf of NFRS, I would like to express our condolences to the family and friends of Ms Hanks.

“Both our fire investigation and an independent forensic investigation returned the same conclusion that the fire was caused due to accidental damage to the ‘flex cable’.

“This raises an important issue and our advice is that if you are buying an appliance, particularly if it is second-hand, you should always inspect not just the appliance itself for damage, but also the attached cables and plugs.

“When an appliance has been moved, sometimes cables can become trapped underneath the appliance with the base resting on them. When installing appliances, we would advise you to follow manufacturer’s recommendations for installation and maintenance.

“We would also always advise regular general maintenance of your electrical appliances, making sure they are in good working order and that you register them with Register My Appliance to keep up to date with any relevant recall notices.”


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