A PENSIONER who died in a fatal house fire had tried to put out the blaze herself before locking herself in a bedroom, an inquest heard.
Mary Wilson, 77, was found dead by fire crews in the bungalow on Kingswood Avenue, Saughall, that she had once shared with her late husband Sydney and son Steven, who was killed in a hit-and-run accident in 2008.
Mrs Wilson, a retired psychiatric nurse, most likely became aware of the fire in its early stages and bravely filled a kitchen bowl with water to try and extinguish the flames, said fire investigator Ian Kay.
But the thick smoke would have made her disorientated, and Mrs Wilson went into a back bedroom and shut the door.
An investigation concluded that a piece of clothing had fallen on to her electrical heater which had been next to Mrs Wilson’s bed in the early hours of April 27 last year.
The inquest, held at Chester Civil Justice Centre, heard how neighbours had noticed ‘a plume of smoke’ coming from the bungalow at about 6.20am and attempted to gain access through a window to rescue Mrs Wilson, but were held back by the heat.
Widowed for almost 18 years before her death, Glasgow-born Mrs Wilson had lived in Chester since her late teens.
She was left heartbroken after her only child, 51-year-old Steven, was killed just before Christmas 2008 while crossing Parkgate Road near the home they shared.
Her close friend Ashley Garland said she never got over her son’s death and had been in and out of hospital with various health issues ever since.
“She was more like a family member to me, we used to go on holiday together and were just there for each other,” she said.
She tearfully told the inquest how she would take Mrs Wilson to various appointments and they would have done ‘anything’ for each other.
Recording a verdict of accidental death, assistant deputy coroner Jean Harkin said Mrs Wilson died of carbon monoxide poisoning.