Woman (81) died after nightdress caught fire as she worked stove

Eithne Lee from Navan sustained 11% burns across her lower chest, abdomen and thighs

Coroner returned a verdict of accidental death. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Coroner returned a verdict of accidental death. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

An elderly woman died after sustaining burns when her nightdress caught fire as she was operating her stove, an inquest has heard.

Eithne Lee (81), from Churchtown, Navan, Co Meath, sustained burns to her legs and abdomen in the incident and died two months later in hospital, an inquest into her death heard.

She called a neighbour for help and was treated at the scene before she was taken by ambulance to Connolly Hospital on November 5th, 2015.

Neighbour Carmel Daly said Ms Lee used her stroller to get around her home as she had mobility problems.

“As soon as she came to the back door I could see smoke,” Ms Daly told the court, adding that the nightdress “ was shrivelled”.

Ms Lee had tried to put out the fire with a mug of water, the court heard.

Her neighbour laid wet towels on the burns and used a scissors to cut away parts of the nightdress. Ms Lee was largely bed-bound, but carers visited her three times a day. A carer had left the woman’s home around 20 minutes before the incident happened.

Garda Paul O’Brien said Ms Lee sustained 11 per cent burns across her lower chest, abdomen and thighs.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane said the burns were significant for an older person to sustain.

Ms Lee was on dialysis for renal failure and had heart problems, the inquest heard.

The family commended staff at St James’s for their exemplary care of their mother during her time in hospital.

They spent Christmas Day in hospital with her before her condition deteriorated and she died on January 13th, 2016.

The coroner returned a verdict of accidental death.