Parents pay tribute to their ‘dependable’ son at inquest after he died in a house fire

Emergency services at the scene of the house fire on Dereham Road in Hempton, near Fakenham. Picture

Emergency services at the scene of the house fire on Dereham Road in Hempton, near Fakenham. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The parents of a 44-year-old man who died in a house fire have paid tributes to their 'dependable' son.

Thomas Robson died at the home where he lived with his parents Sheila and Alan, on Dereham Road in Hempton, near Fakenham, on September 24, 2015.

Norfolk coroner Jacqueline Lake concluded at an inquest in King's Lynn yesterday that the cause of death was accidental.

Mrs Robson said after the inquest: 'I would like him to be remembered as a very dependable and very competent person. He was good with pretty much everything, plumbing, computers, cars, you name it, he could deal with it.'

She added her son did not make friends easily but, when he did, 'he kept them'.


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Her daughter Nicky Robson-Parker, thanked the fire service who arrived within minutes of being called to the fire at 3.14am.

The court heard Mr Robson, who worked for a time as a delivery driver for the Norfolk Hospice, was a 'hoarder' and a heavy smoker known to have smoked everywhere in the house, including his bedroom.

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In a report prepared by North Walsham fire station manager Simon Mason, it was concluded the most likely cause of the fire was smoking materials being discarded 'carelessly' or Mr Robson falling asleep while smoking.

It was also heard a fire alarm – believed not to have gone off – in the hallway may have had the battery taken out to prevent it sounding when Mr Robson smoked, or it was faulty.

However, Mrs Robson, who got out of bed when she heard 'banging' noises coming from her son's room, said did not think the alarm would have been activated because there was no smoke in the hallway.

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