Death of popular town crier 'accidental', inquest concludes

The Wymondham Wynterfest 2016.Pete Green the Town Crier.PHOTO: Nick Butcher

The Wymondham Wynterfest 2016. Pete Green the former Town Crier. - Credit: Archant

The death of a "well-known and loved" town crier and councillor who died in a house fire was accidental, an inquest has concluded.

Peter Travis, also known as Pete Green, from Wymondham, died in the early hours of Sunday, June 27, 2021 following a blaze at his home on Damgate Street.

An inquest into his death was held at Norfolk Coroner's Court on Friday, March 4.

His medical cause of death was given as smoke inhalation due to the house fire, with an elevated ethanol level given as a contributory condition.

A fire investigations report said there was good evidence the fire was caused by a portable electric heater in the lounge coming into contact with a combustible.

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Pete Green, also known as Pete Travis, who died in a house fire - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2013

Mr Travis, 72, served as Wymondham's town crier and became a history-making councillor when he was elected to the town council in 2019 - representing a political party of his own founding.

The grandfather-of-eight was a retired astrologer, and worked as an incense trader and a bookbinder and provided sheltered housing for vulnerable adults.

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His son Ben Green said his father was an active councillor and a "very intelligent and social individual", who was often seen in the community with his dog - a Jack Russel named Kiki, who survived the fire.

He added: "He loved the town and the people.

"He liked to keep himself busy.

"Dad was a proud grandfather, he loved his visits from the family and loved having them around. He would always be an amazing grandfather.

"His home was always a great Aladdin cave of wonders."

In a statement, a neighbour said the town crier was "quite a character" and was a friendly person who would always wave and say hello.

The inquest heard that the 72-year-old was a regular customer at local pub Green Dragon, and had left the establishment at around 12.50am on June 27, before returning home.

Hours later the fire at the Damgate Street property was discovered by police officers, who had been patrolling the area at the time.

They called for assistance and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service and the ambulance service also responded to the incident.

Mr Travis was found in the office of his home and rescued by fire crews. He was later pronounced dead.

Assistant coroner Johanna Thompson said it was an "unexpected and unintended event" and concluded it was an accidental death.