Chewed wire may have caused fatal fire

AN ELDERLY man died in a fire at a mobile home which may have been caused by animals chewing through electrical wires.An 84-year-old widower died on Saturday after a fire started underneath the bathroom of his mobile home in Meadow View Park, Little Clacton.

By Juliette Maxam

AN ELDERLY man died in a fire at a mobile home which may have been caused by animals chewing through electrical wires.

An 84-year-old widower died on Saturday after a fire started underneath the bathroom of his mobile home in Meadow View Park, Little Clacton.

Neighbour Katherine Bishop desperately hammered on the man's door at 6am when she noticed smoke coming from his home, which is diagonally opposite hers.


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Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus pulled him out of the home and tried to revive him, but despite their efforts and those of paramedics he could not be resuscitated.

A spokesman from Clacton Fire Brigade said the fire is believed to have started as a result of an electrical fault in the shower, possibly caused by an animal getting underneath the mobile home and chewing through wires.

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Mrs Bishop said she and her husband, Terry, had smelt smoke when they arrived home on Friday night at 8.30pm, but thought nothing of it because there are frequently bonfires in the area.

On Saturday morning Mr and Mrs Bishop were having a cup of coffee in bed when they heard some big bangs.

"First I thought it was dustbins being blown over, later we found out it was the metal sink expanding in the fire. Then I could smell smoke," said Mrs Bishop.

"I said: 'I'm going to have a look.' I saw smoke coming out of the vents, the top of the house and the chimney stack. I knew it was an old man on his own.

"I shouted: 'We've got a fire.' I grabbed my coat and ran round, hammering on the door. All the house was warm. I couldn't see through the windows."

Mrs Bishop ran back to tell her husband which number home was on fire and alerted the next-door neighbours.

"When the fire brigade broke down the door, black acrid smoke was coming out," she added.

Another neighbour, Robert London, said the man who died kept himself to himself. He had lived on the park for about 18 years and his wife had died a few years ago.

He said the man used to help other residents with their gardens and do window cleaning.

Two fire crews, both from Clacton attended the blaze.

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