Warning after Thornage man died after putting petrol on fire

A coroner has warned of the dangers of using petrol on bonfires following the inquest into a father from north Norfolk who died from severe burns.

Charles Denham died last year after he was badly burnt when the petrol he was applying to a garden fire caught light and landed on his skin.

The 52-year-old was airlifted to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and later transferred to the burns unit at the Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, where he died of multi-organ failure due to an infection caused by burns.

His wife Susannah Denham called for her husband's death to be used as an example of the dangers people face when applying petrol to bonfires.

Her plea was backed by Norfolk coroner William Armstrong who said: 'This tragedy serves as a warning that even the smallest fires can get out of control when fuel is applied.

'People who are starting fires in their gardens should see this as a reason not to use petrol.'

An inquest heard how retailer Mr Denham started a fire in his back garden at Foundry Row, Thornage, near Holt, on March 9 last year.

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He had tried to apply petrol to the fire, but it was a windy day and the fuel caught light and blew back onto his skin.

He called his wife to ask her to phone the ambulance because he had an accident and was badly burnt.

Mrs Denham dialled 999 and drove home to find paramedics caring for her husband. The East of England Ambulance Service flew him to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital where he was later transferred to Broomfield Hospital for special burns treatment. However, he later died on May 21 from multi-organ failure due to sepsis caused by the burns.

Recording an accidental death verdict, Mr Armstrong said: 'I express my deepest sympathy.

'Mr Denham was a much-loved husband, father and friend. He was loved greatly and will be missed.'

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