A CORONER has confirmed that an Irish pensioner who died after suffering severe third-degree burns on 65% of his body accidentally set fire to himself while lighting a cigarette.
70-year-old former construction worker John Nolan, originally from Swinford, Co. Mayo, was rushed to hospital on the afternoon of September 17, 2017, after being found severely burned outside his home in Tottenham, North London.
His body had been alight for about six minutes.
Passers-by had made attempts to put out the flames before Mr Nolan was airlifted to Broomfield Hospital, in Chelmsford, Essex, where he was pronounced dead the following day.
Coroner Andrew Walker concluded today that Mr Nolan died as a result of “accidental ignition of clothing”.
He did not ignite himself deliberately, there was no-one else involved and a flammable liquid did not aid the fire.
The Irishman had been living in London since the 1960’s and worked in the construction industry until the 1980’s when he was forced to retire after suffering a stroke.
He had spent the day with his brother Jimmy and was planning on watching his home county of Mayo take on Dublin in the All-Ireland Final when the incident happened.
After the inquest, Mr Nolan’s nephew Kevin Byrne said the family took comfort from the conclusion.