Warning about smoking in bed after Leeds fire tragedy

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Smokers have been warned about lighting up in bed after the death of a man in a fire thought to have been sparked by a discarded cigarette.

The 65-year-old, who has not been named, died after the incident at a sheltered housing complex on Dulverton Court in Cottingley, Leeds, on Thursday night. Crews from Hunslet Fire Station rushed to the scene after the alarm was raised shortly after 11pm.

They used breathing apparatus and a hose to battle the blaze, but the man was later confirmed dead by paramedics.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said an investigation suggested a carelessly discarded cigarette had caused the incident.

Leeds district commander Nick Smith said: “Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of this gentlemen who has tragically lost his life.

“This is a stark reminder about the dangers of smoking in bed or when tired.

“If you fall asleep before you’ve had chance to extinguish the cigarette, it can slowly smoulder before igniting bedding materials or the sofa.

“We recommend that you never smoke in bed or when tired.”

Last year there were 244 deaths from fires in homes nationally. A third of those were caused by carelessly discarded cigarettes.

Mr Smith said crews were now spending time in the Cottingley area to reassure the community and offer them free home fire safety advice.

The sheltered housing complex is run by Aire Valley Homes.

A spokesman said: “We would like to offer our condolences to the family and friends of the gentleman concerned, and wish to reassure all tenants that fire safety is of the utmost importance and we are co-operating fully with all services involved.”

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