Carlton Colville smoker died in accident with oxygen

Tributes have been paid to a Carlton Colville grandfather who survived the second world war but died in a horrific accident.

Les Hossack, 87, refused to give up smoking, despite being given 24-hour oxygen and being warned of the potential danger, an inquest heard.

He was under 24-hour care by Norwich-based Insignia Health Care, and being looked after by assistant Nicola Taylor.

She told the inquest that Mr Hossack, who suffered from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), had a severe coughing fit on July 10 last year and had been sick in his breakfast. She went into the kitchen and was preparing another porridge for him when she heard a hissing noise.

She said: 'I went into the bedroom and there he was – in flames. He was trying to beat it out.

'I don't know how it happened. I later found a lighter and he told me that he had flicked the lighter and it had ignited. It must have been close to his face.'

Mr Hossack, who was a Royal Marine during the war, had been warned of the dangers of smoking while being given oxygen, she said, and been told that a naked flame near oxygen was dangerous, but he did what he wanted to do.

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Mr Hossack, from Bloodmoor Lane, died five days later at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston.

At yesterday's inquest in Norwich, Norfolk coroner William Armstrong recorded a verdict of accidental death as a result of sustaining burns at his home.

After the inquest, Mr Hossack's daughter, Jan Hossack, paid tribute to her father, and said: 'Once you met him you would never forget him. He was a real man and was still riding a Harley Davidson motorbike a few months before he died. At his funeral his coffin was brought on a motorbike and hundreds of people attended.'

The retired bus driver, who was born in east London and served in Egypt, Libya and Italy during the war, is survived by three children and nine grandchildren.