Great-grandmother died as a result of serious hotel fire, inquest hears
PUBLISHED: 16:30 29 October 2020 | UPDATED: 09:50 30 October 2020
A Newmarket great-grandmother died as the result of a serious fire at a hotel in Cyprus, an inquest has heard.
Patricia Hughes, 71, from Newmarket died on December 27, 2019 in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Mrs Hughes has been on holiday with her partner Patrick Mcgee when a fire broke out in the room they were staying in at the LA Hotel in Lapithos.
A documentary inquest into Mrs Hughes’ death was heard at the Suffolk Coroners Court today by coroner Jacqueline Devonish.
Ms Devonish said there had been difficulties in getting information because of the area in which Mrs Hughes died.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is controlled by the Turkish military and is not officially recognised by the UK.
Mrs Hughes’ son Darren told the inquest that Mrs Hughes and Mr Mcgee had gone to Lapithos for an extended Christmas break and had been in regular contact with their family.
He said that his mother had “so much to live for” and loved travelling and spending time with her family.
“She was everyone’s friend,” said Mr Hughes.
On the day of her tragic death Mr Mcgee was alerted to the fire by a popping sound which woke him at around 8am.
Mr Mcgee was soon aware of smoke in the room and woke Mrs Hughes, he then began to make his way out. He believed that Mrs Hughes was following him.
Staff from the hotel rushed to the couple’s room and helped Mr Mcgee but the door was closed behind him with Mrs Hughes still inside.
Local news reports read to the inquest suggested the fire was so destructive that it destroyed six of the hotel’s rooms and left up to 10 more with smoke damage.
The fire attracted a great deal of interest with the country’s then Prime Minister, Ersin Tatar, visiting the scene of the incident.
Post mortems carried out on Mrs Hughes in Northern Cyprus and in the UK concluded she had died as the result of carbon monoxide inhalation from the fire.
Ms Devonish recorded an open verdict as there was insufficient evidence to suggest that her death was an accident or as a result of negligence from the hotel.
However, she indicated that should further evidence come to light regarding the case, it could be reopened.
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