In an inquest into the death of a Plumstead mother and daughter who died in a house fire last year a coroner today ruled unsafe cigarettes to be the cause of the fatal inferno.
Mother Caroline Kaur, believed to be in her 50s and her 23-year-old daughter Hayleigh were the victims of the fierce flames that destroyed their family home in Purrett Road in the early hours of June 18.
Residents described hearing shouts and blasts like fireworks at 1am from the fire which left the house gutted and half the roof destroyed.
The London Fire Brigade found a packet of cigarettes which were made in India and didn’t have the special requirements to which all cigarettes legally sold in the UK are made, that helps the cigarettes go out if they are left burning.
The brigade have urged all smokers to buy cigarettes that meet European Union safety standards and never to throw cigarettes or hot ash into rubbish bins.
The inquest also found that a smoke alarm had alerted the family to the fire.
The Coroner noted that while it was tragic that two people lost their lives, more people could have died if not for the alarm.
Mr. Singh who lost a wife and daughter in the house fire was keen promote the importance of a working smoke alarm in every home.
He said: “It is essential that everyone tests their smoke alarms and make sure you replace the batteries immediately if they don’t work. My wife had replaced the batteries in our smoke alarms just days before the fire and if we hadn’t done that it is likely that the whole family would have died.
“It’s vital that you know what to do if there is a fire in your home, have a clear escape plan and keep door and window keys where everyone you live with can find them.”