Woman’s death leads to a DVD

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A HALIFAX woman’s death has led to the launch of a DVD to teach people about the dangers of smoking while taking oxygen.

Mother-of-six Joyce Forth died in Calderdale Royal Hospital after she was rescued from her flat at Backhold Lane in Siddal by firefighters in January last year.

As reported by the Courier, she suffered from pulmonary disease and used an oxygen concentrator to help her breathe.

But the machine was still on when she lit a cigarette that morning.

A fire started which left the pensioner suffering severe burns that she could not survive.

Her death prompted West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to carry out extensive research into home oxygen services and the processes incvolved in their assessment, prescription and management.

Now, together with fire services in other parts in the country, they are launching a DVD which will go out to organisations across Britian that deal with home oxygen services.

West Yorkshire Coroner Roger Whittaker, who re-opened the inquest into Mrs Forth’s death, is backing the project.

He said: “I have conducted a number of inquests into fatal fires involving the use of long-term oxygen therapy, all of which have involved the victim smoking while using oxygen.

“The increase in oxygen levels turns a relatively slow smouldering cigarette into what can only be described as a blow- torch.

“The oxygen then allows other items in the area to literally burst into flames.

“The effects on the individual are obvious. The impact on family and loved ones is unimaginable.”

Speaking after Mrs Forthe’s inquest, her daughter Pat Horner, told the Courier: “We don’t want any other families to have to go through what we have. We tried to tell her, we begged and pleaded with her, but she wouldn’t listen.”