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'It's just tragic what's happened' - Man killed in house fire on night he moved in

PUBLISHED: 16:20 22 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:20 22 August 2019

Nathan Dean, who died in a house fire  Picture courtesy of the Dean family

Nathan Dean, who died in a house fire Picture courtesy of the Dean family

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A 43-year-old man died when a fierce fire engulfed a housing association property on the night he moved into it.

Emergency services on the scene of the fire on Losinga Road in North Lynn Picture: Ian BurtEmergency services on the scene of the fire on Losinga Road in North Lynn Picture: Ian Burt

Today the homeless charity which manages the house said lessons had been learned from the tragedy.

Nathan Dean was in his bedroom at the four-bed semi on Losinga Road, King's Lynn, when the fire broke out in the early hours of Sunday, September 2, 2018.

An inquest heard he died from burns and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Senior coroner Jacqueline Lake concluded his death was accidental, saying the fire began after Mr Dean fell asleep whilst smoking a cigarette.

The house was left gutted by the fire  Picture: Chris BishopThe house was left gutted by the fire Picture: Chris Bishop

A post mortem showed he had a small amount of alcohol and traces of cannabis and amphetamine in his system.

In earlier evidence, it emerged Mr Dean was a heavy sleeper with a habit of falling asleep whilst smoking.

Police were called to Losinga Road by another tenant at the property, after Mr Dean complained there were people outside and set off a fire alarm.

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They attended at midnight, reset the alarm and left. CCTV inside the house showed Mr Dean setting off another call point at 2.24am, before going to his bedroom.

CCTV showed smoke coming from his bedroom at 3.18am. The alarm was raised at 4.26am by a taxi driver who saw the fire. Mr Dean was pronounced dead at the scene after the blaze was put out.

Paula Hall, chief executive of homeless charity the Purfleet Trust, said Freebridge Community Housing, which owned the property, was looking at having fire alarms linked to a central monitoring point and fitting sprinklers.

After the hearing Mr Dean's sister Tracey, 32, said: "It's just tragic what's happened. I hope another family won't have to go through what we went through."

The property after the blaze tore through its upper floor and roof Picture: Chris BishopThe property after the blaze tore through its upper floor and roof Picture: Chris Bishop

His brother Timothy, 46, said: "It's unfortunate but at least people can learn from what's happened here."

Outside court Mrs Hall said Purfleet had reviewed its policies in consultation with the fire service and police.

She said this included further training for tenants and changing license forms to emphasise the smoking ban, along with linking fire alarms to a central monitoring system.

Some 29 people currently live in six properties managed by Purfleet.

"We can't take responsibility for everybody's actions at every point in the day," added Mrs Hall. "It was a really sad set of circumstances which led to Nathan's death."

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