Man’s death was a tragic accident

The mother of Brighouse man Ben Cook has described her son’s death as “a tragic accident” after a verdict of accidental death was given at his inquest.

Mr Cook, 21, died of asphyxia due to smoke inhalation after a fire at his home on Waverley Crescent in Hipperholme on June 1 last year.

The inquest heard that Mr Cook’s mother Jacqui and her partner Paul Dyson had both been smoking in the lounge of the house before going to the Travellers pub for a drink, where they were alerted by a friend that their home, which they shared with Mr Cook, was on fire.

A neighbour said in a statement that he ran around to the front of the property after seeing smoke billowing from the house and that the front windows were black with smoke.

Tony Rostron, crew commander at Brighouse fire station, told the inquest it took two or three minutes to put the fire out.

Mr Rostron said he found Mr Cook motionless on his bed and that he looked unconscious.

Lee Miller, a fire investigation officer, told the inquest the origin of the fire was most probably a plastic waste paper bin in the front room.

He told the inquest the fact that the bin had been completely destroyed by the fire suggested it was the likely source of the blaze and the most likely reason for the fire was a discarded cigarette.

Coroner Oliver Longstaff said the only conclusion the evidence supported was that it was an accidental death.

Speaking after the verdict, Mr Cook mother Jacqui said: “It was just a tragic accident.”