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Woman dies in fire at West Howe
7:30am Friday 23rd November 2012 in News
A 60-year-old woman has been killed in a fire in Bournemouth.
Firefighters revealed yesterday that she was found dead in her ground floor flat in Hall Road, West Howe, on Tuesday afternoon.
Speaking to the Daily Echo yesterday, neighbours said they knew little about the woman, who was believed to be called Gloria.
Fire crews from Redhill Park and Poole were called to the road at 2.15pm on Tuesday after a neighbour raised the alarm.
When they entered the property they found the woman dead.
A fire investigation has revealed that smoking materials found near her body were thought to be the cause.
Neighbours said the woman kept herself to herself and was being looked after by carers,who visited twice a day.
One resident, Wendy Lees said: “It’s a shame. It’s ever so sad, especially in a situation like that where no-one is there to stop it.”
Geoff Haywood another Hall Road resident, added: “She’s had carers for as long as I can remember.
“She had probably been there four or five years.
“I don’t think she had family, just the carers coming in morning and afternoon. It’s a sad situation.”
John Harvey, who lives opposite the flat, said: “I saw the fire engines and police turn up.
“There was a lot of smoke coming out.
“She had a lot of carers and the pharmacy was delivering at the time.
“I’ve never seen her – it’s very sad, I didn’t realise anyone was hurt.”
Two bunches of flowers were left on the front step yesterday.
One message read: “Goodnight, God bless, will miss you. With love, Sandra, your carer.”
Another said: “Loving memories of Gloria, she was always smiling. Love Sharon, Martin, Megan.”
Bournemouth council confirmed yesterday that the woman was a council tenant.
Fire investigation officer, Steve Underhill, said: “Although we’re awaiting confirmation of the cause of death from the coroner, it’s clear the victim had not properly disposed of smoking materials, leading to a fire near to her.
“She did have hard-wired smoke alarms which were sounding and alerted a neighbour, but it may well be that she was unable to escape due to mobility or other issues which are not yet clear.”