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Pensioner died from burns after fire started in his bedroom
A SON spoke of the moment of "hell" he faced when he discovered his 92-year-old dad surrounded by fire in his bedroom.
Desmond Spooner died from burns after a fire started in his bed at his home in St John's Road in Penn.
At Beaconsfield Coroner's Court yesterday his son, Nick, spoke of how he desperately tried to save his dad.
The inquest also heard the fire was caused by smoking paraphernalia. Mr Spooner smoked a pipe.
Mr Nick Spooner, who visited his dad at varying times every day, said he arrived at his father's home on May 24 at around 3.30pm.
He said: "I ran straight upstairs and I ran into his bedroom and there he was on the floor.
"It was just like a scene from hell. There were smoke and flames and everything was on fire."
He said his dad was still conscious when he first saw him and said, "Help me Nick, I am on fire."
He managed to drag his dad downstairs on the second or third attempt, where he patted out the fire.
His dad was airlifted to hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Fire investigator Tony Thompson from Bucks Fire and Rescue said the fire had been burning for at least an hour and started around the headboard.
He said the wooden frame of the bed had burnt through completely while the curtains in the bedroom were still intact, which suggests the fire had been smouldering for a considerable period.
He said a large quantity of smoking materials were found in the bedroom.
Mr Spooner said his dad could be hard work but he also had a soft, charming, old English gentleman side to him.
He said his dad was determined to live in his own house and he had a strong support network, with carers calling two to three times a day.
Mr Spooner said: "At the point of my father's death he was very happy and his life was exactly as he wanted it."
He also had a personal alarm on his wrist, which he could press if there was an emergency. It is thought he didn't use this because the phone line had been cut out by the fire.
He said smoking a pipe was very much a hobby for his dad and when encouraged to stop, he said he had been doing it all his life.
Coroner Richard Hulett said: "There is no doubt that a very slow burning fire started somewhere in that bed from smoking materials.
"Mr Spooner Senior wasn't very mobile and therefore probably smoked quite often in his chair or bed."
He added: "It is not wrong or improper- they are entitled to live their lives as they see fit, and he did."
He recorded a verdict of accidental death.