Welwyn Garden City pensioner dies after bungalow fire

AN elderly man has died after a fire at his home in WGC – despite firefighters’ brave attempts to save him.

Donald Whitehead, 79, a retired electronics inspector, died following a fire at his home in Marsden Road, WGC, last Saturday, May 14.

Firefighters from WGC, Hatfield and Welwyn had rescued the pensioner from the smoke-filled bungalow before constructing a makeshift tent to shelter him from the rain.

They applied first aid before paramedics arrived shortly afterwards and took Mr Whitehead to the QE2 Hospital in WGC, suffering from burns and smoke inhalation.

He was then transferred to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex, where he died on Monday.


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WGC fire station commander Rad Bristow said: “We rescued the man from the fire and worked closely with the ambulance service, but despite everybody’s best efforts, the man sadly died on Sunday night/Monday morning.

“Our deepest condolences go out to the man’s family at this time. The crews got there quickly and put the fire out.

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“Everybody did their job effectively, it’s sad that sometimes you do all you can and still don’t get the outcome you’d hoped for.”

The fire is believed to have been caused by a lit cigarette burning through an oxygen pipe.

A fire investigation officer at the property in Marsden Road confirmed the cause had been accidental.

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