Family critical of housing company after death of woman at warden-controlled Eston home (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Family critical of housing company after death of woman at warden-controlled Eston home
THE family of a grandmother who died in a fire at her warden-controlled home have criticised the way that alarms coming from her property were dealt with by a housing company.
Patricia Moore, 73, died of smoke inhalation when an electrical fault at her bungalow in Ainthorpe Place, Eston, near Middlesbrough, caused a fire in her bedroom on November 27, last year.
An inquest into her death held yesterday at Teesside Coroner’s Court, in Middlesbrough, heard that property managers, Coast and Country Housing, had received several alarm-activated calls at the time of the fire.
Sharon Williams, customer advisor at the company, said the calls were answered, but there had been no response and it was presumed they had been triggered by a fault in the Home Call alarm system.
The company contacted Mrs Moore’s daughter, Gina Donnelly, and asked her to check on her mother as they believed something was “not right” and thought she could reach the scene faster than their warden.
When Ms Donnelly went to her mother’s home, she saw the bedroom window was black and alerted the emergency services which discovered Mrs Moore in the bedroom of the bungalow. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Teesside Coroner Michael Sheffield recorded a verdict of accidental death.
Speaking after the hearing, Ms Donnelly criticised the company’s response to the incident.
She said: “When they could not get hold of her, they should have gone out.
“That is what the wardens are for. I could have been on holiday and what would they have done then? We pay for the Home Call services. We pay for them to be there in case something goes wrong.”
A spokesman from Coast and Country Housing said: “As determined by the coroner’s verdict, this was a tragic accident and our thoughts are with Mrs Moore’s family at this sad time.
“Our records show that procedures were followed promptly and correctly in response to the alert.
“Now the coroner’s hearing has concluded, we would be happy to talk to Mrs Moore’s family on how the alert was handled if they wish to do so.”