A HEAVY smoker warned on numerous occasions for discarding cigarettes in his Bournemouth flat died when he accidentally set himself on fire.

The badly-burned body of David Gay Sutcliffe was found slumped on the toilet in his sheltered accommodation after smoke alarms were activated, an inquest heard.

Assistant Dorset Coroner Brendan Allen heard that Mr Sutcliffe, who had mobility problems and was alcohol dependent, had been visited by Safe and Well advisers from Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service(DWFRS)on five occasions in the months leading up to his death after concerns were raised.

Emergency services were called to Vale Lodge in Vale Road just after 11.30pm on February 3 last year.

A Careline operator had raised the alarm after a smoke alarm was activated in Mr Sutcliffe’s flat.

DWFRS fire investigator Graham Kewley said he believes Mr Sutcliffe, 75, accidentally set fire to his clothes in the bedroom of his flat and made his way to the bathroom.

A tap was turned on, indicating he had attempted to put out the fire, but he had been overcome by the fire and died of his injuries.

The Bournemouth inquest heard the cause of Mr Sutcliffe’s death was heat shock due to burning.

Mr Kewley said Mr Sutcliffe had been provided with a fire retardant spray and throw after fire service representatives visited the flat and saw burn marks in the carpet and furnishings.

He was also provided with a metal bin for cigarette butts.

Mr Kewley told the inquest: “There were concerns he was at risk. In my view all attempts were made to try educate Mr Sutcliffe about the risks. I am not of the opinion that much more could have been done short of full-time supervision.”

Detective Inspector Neil Wright of Dorset Police said inquiries revealed there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding Mr Sutcliffe’s death.

Mr Allen concluded that Mr Sutcliffe died as the result of an accident.