A man who suddenly appeared in flames in front of his family is said to have accidentally set himself on fire with a match, an inquest has found.
Jim Delaney (85) suffered fatal complications from burn injuries to his body sustained during the incident at his home in St Joseph’s Road, Carlow on 30th August 2021. The father of four was transported by ambulance to St James’s Hospital in Dublin but died there two days later.
The deceased’s son, Paul Delaney, told the Dublin District Coroner’s Court on Thursday that he was visiting his parents’ home and was sitting in the kitchen with his mother Irene and sister Mary, discussing a new stove for the home, as his father came in the hall “burning from his chest up.”
He recalled removing his father’s sweater and shirt and trying to soothe the burns with cold water and towels until emergency services arrived.
Coroner Aisling Gannon said there were no witnesses to the actual incident that caused the fire. The investigation revealed that no fires or candles were lit in the house at the time.
However, Irene Delaney said in a statement that Mr Delaney used to smoke a pipe and still has a habit of lighting and extinguishing matches even after he has quit smoking. She said he was in good shape earlier that day as they chatted in her living room.
Mary Delaney, a caregiver for her parents, said they tried to put out the fire and soothe her father’s wounds with a shower hose. She said her father had begun showing signs of dementia in the months leading up to his death and had become absent-minded.
A plastic surgery consultant at St James’s Hospital, Claragh Healy, said Mr Delaney suffered 25 per cent full-thickness burns to his torso, face, neck and upper limbs and in consultation with his family the decision was made to offer palliative care . An autopsy confirmed that he died as a result of multiple organ failure from the burns.
Ms Gannon returned a verdict of accidental death.
https://www.irishtimes.com/crime-law/courts/2023/03/09/man-suddenly-appeared-before-his-family-covered-in-flames-inquest-hears/ The man suddenly appeared in front of his family, who were on fire, inquest reveals – The Irish Times