Kathleen Braithwaite (died in house fire) Wiki – Kathleen Braithwaite (died in house fire) Biography
- Kathleen Braithwaite died in a ‘towering inferno’ at her home near Workington
- Plumes of smoke were seen billowing from the roof while fire engines arrived
- Blaze started moments after Mrs Braithwaite’s husband threw a log on the fire
A pensioner died in a horror house fire which started after embers from a wood burner ignited nearby materials in the home, an inquest has heard.
Kathleen Braithwaite, 69, perished in what was described yesterday as a ‘towering inferno’ at her property near Workington, Cumbria, last year.
Shocking pictures taken at the time show plumes of smoke billowing from the roof of the rural stone house as fire engines rush towards it.
Cockermouth Coroner’s Court yesterday heard how the fire started moments after Mrs Braithwaite’s husband Arthur threw a long on to the wood burner.
According to a fire service report the embers ‘flew up’ and ‘lit up the material around’.
The report added that the property was ‘fire loaded through hoarding’.
The couple’s son, Chris Braithwaite, told the court his parents would would often leave the log burner fire door open despite his warnings.
The inquest heard evidence from witnesses who described how they had seen the property engulfed in flames and spotted Mr Braithwaite searching for help.
He told police he had tried to find his wife when the fire started but got no response and could not locate her due to the smoke.
Despite the best efforts of 11 firefighters plus many police officers and paramedics, Mrs Braithwaite was found dead a short time later on October 16, 2019.
Her cause of death was smoke inhalation, the inquest heard.
Mrs Braithwaite’s son Chris Braithwaite, giving evidence, told the court his mum had suffered mobility issues following a traffic incident a few years prior to her death.
He said: ‘Mam and dad were sleeping in the kitchen downstairs as he had a stroke in 2015 and struggled to get up the stairs and she had problems with her mobility.’
The court also heard from GP Dr Wilson, who said Mrs Braithwaite also suffered from lymphoedema, a chronic condition that causes swelling in the body’s tissues.
Shortly after the tragedy members of the local community who knew Mrs Brathwaite from her work as a cleaner paid tribute to a ‘lovely person’ who had ‘worked hard all her life’.
Marjorie Robinson, Mrs Braithwaite’s sister, said in a statement: ‘As a family we miss her very much.’
Delivering his conclusion, coroner Simon Ward said: ‘Kathleen Braithwaite died as a result of an accident.’