Man who died in fire at Scunthorpe flat disconnected smoke alarm
A man who died in a chip pan fire had disconnected the smoke alarm hours before the blaze.
Father-of-three David Storer, 55, was found dead at his flat on Cottage Beck Road in Scunthorpe after a fire at the property.
At an inquest in August, coroner Paul Kelly ordered police to reopen the inquiry after being told the smoke alarm in the property on Cottage Beck Road was not properly connected.
The coroner said at the first inquest that if a smoke alarm was fitted, it should have been checked by the owner.
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A second inquest has now revealed that the smoke alarm did not alert Mr Storer to the blaze because he had disconnected it.
The inquest heard that Mr Storer's friend Deborah Jackson came forward after reading the Scunthorpe Telegraph report on the first inquest.
She said: "I had known David for 13 years and prior to his death I would go round to his property quite often.
"I did notice that he would move one end of the battery in his smoke alarm when cooking in order to make it not go off all the time.
"I saw this happen quite regularly.
"The smoke alarm was very loud so he often moved the battery."
PC Daniel Brown, of Humberside Police, who has been involved in the investigation from the beginning, said: "I have spoken to the landlord and he said he bought the property 20 years ago.
"He said he had recently renovated the property and would always fix anything if asked.
"After the incident, he has been round to his properties and put some new alarms in."
The coroner said: "The fire was due to a chip pan fire which would have ordinarily activated the smoke alarm.
"However, it was not activated during this time due to the battery being incorrectly fitted.
"Two witnesses have since emerged indicating that Mr Storer was the author of the smoke alarm not working correctly.
"Deborah Jackson, who was a regular visitor to Mr Storer's property, had seen him disable the battery because his alarm would go off frequently.
"He never fully removed the battery but would just move one end of it so a proper connection was not created.
"The chip pan fire took his life before he had chance to properly connect the battery.
"If the alarm had have been working correctly, then these unhappy circumstances may not have happened."
The coroner recorded Mr Storer's death as a result of an accident.
David's wife Gail said: "I am happy with the decision. They have come to the right conclusion."
Speaking after the inquest, daughter Tracey Eayres, 31, said: "I am pleased the inquest has now come to a conclusion, but I still have plenty of questions unanswered."
Mr Storer's daughter Claire Storer, 33, said: "I miss him every day because we had a close relationship."