A MAN who called at his elderly mother's home to deliver a newspaper was turned away by police as fire crews battled a blaze at her bungalow.
Great-grandmother Peggy Marsh-man, 85, was found collapsed by fire-fighters in the Fynnon Nephal, Bwlchgwyn property and pronounced dead at the scene.
The emergency services were called to the blaze at 2.42pm last Sunday and tried to gain access to the smoke-filled property.
Two fire crews from Wrexham attended and four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the bungalow to extinguish the fire.
Mrs Marshman's son, Gary Marsh-man, 61, was left distraught after been told of his mother's death.
He said: 'Just as I got to Bwlchgwyn, the police were stopping traffic. A
policeman told me I couldn't go further as there had been a fire. Then I realised it was my mother's home.'
Mr Marshman has spoken warmly of his mother, a retired pianist.
He said: 'She was very generous and a lovely lady. She would play in shows for charity and in hospitals for patients.
'She had a granddaughter Victoria and great grandchildren Joshua and Toby. She also had a lot of friends around the country, although others have passed away.'
Originally from Shotley Bridge, near Consett, County Durham, Mrs Marsh-man settled in her bungalow in Bwlchgwyn after the death of her husband, George.
Investigators believe the blaze may have been caused by an open fire.
North Wales chief fire officer, Simon Smith said: 'I'm extremely concerned regarding the number of fatalities from fires in North Wales this year. So far we have two deaths in 2006, both of which involved elderly women.
'Both victims were alone and both incidents are suspected to involve open fires, however, investigations are still on going into the causes of both.
'It is important occupiers are aware of the potential risk of open fires, as they could pose a real threat to safety, in particular to the elderly. People should ensure they have a fire guard protecting open fires at all times.'
'And ensure a smoke alarm is installed and maintained regularly by testing the battery weekly and changing it at least once a year.
'We are also urging everyone to request a free home fire safety check by calling 0808 100 2863 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.'