Tributes to woman, 99, who died in Lightcliffe house fire

House fire Laburnum Grove, Lightcliffe.
House fire Laburnum Grove, Lightcliffe.

Tributes have been paid to a 99-year-old who was planning her 100th birthday celebrations but was tragically killed in a house fire in Lightcliffe.

Hilda Haigh died at Calderdale Royal Hospital following a blaze at her bungalow in Laburnum Grove at 10.45pm on Saturday night.

Neighbours have spoken of their sadness about the tragedy.

Lillian Griffiths used to take Mrs Haigh to the community hall where they would play games of bingo.

“She was just a lovely lady. There were about eight of us who used to go play bingo and I would take her back home,” she said. “She was really friendly and was looking forward to celebrating her birthday around Christmas.

“It is a tremendous shock as we all look out for each other.”

Public Safety message - The Storage of Fuel for Vehicles''West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging the public to stay safe and act responsibly.'' ''Acting Assistant Chief Fire Officer Ian Bitcon, said 'Handling petrol is extremely dangerous. Storing fuel can dramatically increase the likelihood of fire, putting members of the public and our firefighters at unnecessary risk.

Public Safety message - The Storage of Fuel for Vehicles''West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging the public to stay safe and act responsibly.'' ''Acting Assistant Chief Fire Officer Ian Bitcon, said 'Handling petrol is extremely dangerous. Storing fuel can dramatically increase the likelihood of fire, putting members of the public and our firefighters at unnecessary risk.

Brian and Joyce Langley also said it was tragedy what has happened as they saw the cul-de-sac a wash with emergency services. “Hilda loved dancing. She was always smartly dressed and smiling. She was just a really nice lady.”

The properties are owned and managed by Pennine Housing 2000 (A member of the Together Housing Group). A spokesperson said their thoughts are with her family at this sad time.

Fire crews from Cleckheaton, Halifax and Odsal attended the incident along with police and paramedics.

Firefighters managed to rescue Mrs Haigh from her living room after the fire had started in her bedroom.

The blaze caused unsalvageable damage to the bedroom with other parts of the property suffering from heat and smoke damage as crews were at the scene until 3am on Sunday.

The fatal house fire in one five recent incidents in the region with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) chiefs now expressing their concerns.

The deaths all involved people over the age of 70. The cause of three of the fires was smoking related and three of the five individuals lived alone.

Area Manager for Fire Safety Ian Bitcon said: “These deaths have been tragic and our condolences are extended to the loved ones and friends of the individuals who have lost their lives.

“I’m sure communities across West Yorkshire have been left shocked and sadden by them and we wish to raise awareness of how we can all protect older people.

“Unfortunately being elderly brings with it particular risks which mean you are much more likely to die from a fire in the home.

“We want families, friends, neighbours and anyone who interacts with older people, such as social groups, care workers and health workers, to be aware of the dangers and to alert the fire service so we can carry out a home visit to give tailored advice.”

An inquest is set to open into the death of Hilda Haigh at Bradford Coroners Court.