Mother dies in fire caused by child playing with lighter

Chloe Doggett died in a house fire that started when a child was playing with a lighter. (Wales News)

The house fire that killed a “kind” and “bubbly” mother of two was started by a child playing with a cigarette lighter, a coroner ruled.

Chloe Doggett, 28, was staying at a house in Tonypandy in the Rhondda Valley, South Wales, on September 21 last year when she was caught in the flames.

Firefighters pulled her from the property, which had nine people inside when the fire started, as flames ripped through the top floor of the three-story row house.

Despite attempts to save her, Mrs. Doggett died of a brain injury on September 24 at Morriston Hospital.

South Wales Police initially questioned Mrs Doggett’s boyfriend about the incident, but the criminal investigation was dropped after one of the children at the property admitted to starting the fire by setting a “teddy bear” on fire. .

Paying tribute to Mrs. Doggett, her mother, Emma Doggett, said after the hearing: “She was the kindest person who would do anything and help anyone.

Chloe Doggett died of a brain injury on September 24 at Morriston Hospital.  (Wales News)

Chloe Doggett died of a brain injury on September 24 at Morriston Hospital. (Wales News)

“She wouldn’t see anyone fight. She was very cheerful and she went through many things with her children through no fault of her own. She was a good mother.”

All of the adults in the home at the time of the fire were smokers, and the coroner was told numerous lighters and ashtrays were found throughout the property.

Fire safety manager Stephen Morgan told the court that an investigation by the fire service into the cause of the fire found that it had started in the children’s bedroom and was likely caused by a naked flame placed against material. gas.

The court also heard that there were no fire alarms or other fire safety equipment in the house, and those inside were unaware of the fire until members of the public told them they could see black smoke billowing from top-floor windows. .

At the same time as the first fire service call at 4:37 p.m., Mrs. Doggett and her boyfriend were in their top-floor bedroom, and Mrs. Doggett was FaceTimed with her best friend, Philippa Stevens. .

Ms Stevens said in a statement that “Chloe was happy with herself” but then heard what sounded like a woman yelling and then a man yelling “Chloe”.

She said Ms. Doggett got out of bed and appeared to move toward the door “with intensity,” dropping her phone on the floor.

The coroner ruled Chloe Doggett's death an accident.  (Wales News)

The coroner ruled Chloe Doggett’s death an accident. (Wales News)

Mrs. Doggett’s boyfriend told the court that after hearing the screams he opened the bedroom door and instantly noticed smoke.

He said he saw a child in the room opposite being engulfed in flames, saying: “My natural instinct was to run through the fire and grab the child.

“I didn’t realize Chloe was still in the bedroom until I came out.”

An off-duty firefighter and several other men joined him in trying to rescue Mrs. Doggett, but were unable to climb the stairs due to black smoke covering the landing.

Attempts were made to break the bedroom window from the outside with a can of paint, a hammer, and a stepladder, but were unsuccessful.

Mrs Doggett had managed to remove the secondary double-glazed unit, cutting herself in the process, before losing consciousness from heavy smoke inhalation, the coroner concluded.

Coroner’s Assistant Gaynor Kynaston said: “I accept and find that the fire was started in bedroom two and that the fire was started by a child playing with a cigarette lighter.

“Despite her attempts to escape the scene, Chloe was rendered unconscious from smoke inhalation.”

Kynaston ruled that Mrs. Doggett’s death was an accident.

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