Belfast Telegraph

Faulty fire seals blamed for woman's death

A FAULTY glass- fronted fire has been blamed for the death of a

95-year-old Belfast woman.

Josephine McManus, from Hillman Street, died at Belfast City Hospital on

Josephine McManus, from Hillman Street, died at Belfast City Hospital on December 22 last year after she was admitted with chest problems.

A post mortem report showed that she died from complications caused by carbon monoxide poisoning.

Coroner John Leckey found that a slightly short flue connector pipe, cracked and loose fire clay seals, and adverse weather conditions had combined to cause fumes to escape into the pensioner's living room.

At yesterday's inquest a neighbour of the dead woman, Ellen McClarnon, said she visited Miss McManus every day but had noticed nothing wrong with the fire.

She called the doctor because her friend was suffering from a chest complaint and was drowsy during the day.

The doctor was concerned the fire might be aggravating her condition and she was admitted to hospital, the witness said.

Philip Miller, a heating and solid fuel engineer, checked the fire on December 22 but found nothing wrong which would cause a serious fume problem.

Senior scientific officer with the Forensic Science Agency Bob Russell also carried out a thorough examination.

He said a combination of the flue, cracked seals and weather conditions was the most plausible explanation for the accident.

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