Halifax fire tragedies that killed two pensioners may have been started by skin cream

Two pensioners died in the tragedies.
Two pensioners died in the tragedies.

The deaths of two Halifax pensioners may have been caused by paraffin-based skin creams, according to a report from the Fire Service.

It says both victims used paraffin based skin creams that have recently been flagged up as being a risk factor in fires.

On November 22 at 8.25pm fire crews were called to a blaze at Stansfield Road in Halifax. The fire had started in the bedroom of a rented flat, and a 73-year-old woman was declared dead at the scene.

The report says the woman was a wheelchair user and received daily assistance from carers.

It adds: “Signs of careless smoking were evident in the flat and she was also using paraffin-based skin care products four times a day.

"The fire started in the bedroom and predominately involved the bed. The cause was accidental ignition by smoking materials, most likely to have been a dropped match on to emollient contaminated clothing/bedding.”

On December 8 crews were called to a rented flat on Watkinson Road, Holmfield, Halifax at 11am. The fire claimed the life of the 76-year-old occupant.

The report says: “He was immobile and needed assistance to get out of bed and received assistance from carers daily who helped him to clean himself and prepare his meals. He was a smoker and used paraffin based skin cream.

“The seat of the fire was at the base of the chair he was in when firefighters rescued him. The cause was accidental ignition by smoking materials.”

The meeting takes place next Thursday at 11am in the Fire Service’s HQ in Birkenshaw.