Wife's hairdryer created blaze that killed husband

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

A man died in a blaze sparked by his wife's hair dryer after she went out for the night, an inquest heard.

The appliance had been left lying on a bed while still plugged in following 30 minutes use and had been accidentally covered by a towel.

Fire investigator Nigel Adams said the towel trapped heat from the hair dryer and started to smoulder before igniting the bed.

Bina Dawett Joshi's 57-year-old husband Ram had gone to bed in a different room before she left their home in The Fold in Penn, Wolverhampton, for an evening out with a female friend. The fire was spotted two hours later.

Mr Joshi was sleeping so deeply he was not alerted by the smoke alarm at the property until it was too late, said Black Country coroner Robin Balmain yesterday.

The victim was discovered overcome by smoke and was certified dead from its effects after arriving at New Cross Hospital. Tests revealed he had 275 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, almost four time the legal limit for driving of 80 milligrams.

Two fire engines sent to the blaze took 17 minutes to reach the scene after accidentally being sent to the wrong address by the caller who alerted them on February 11, the hearing at Walsall Manor Hospital was told.

Mrs Dawett Joshi, who runs the beauty salon B's Beauty Lounge on Penn Road, left the house around 45 minutes after her husband came home.

Fire investigator Mr Adams said a fragment of towel was found on the remains of the hair dryer.


He explained: "A hair dryer will normally cool naturally but covering it up does not allow any ventilation. I would say the smoke detector had been going for some time and why he did not try to leave earlier I cannot say."

The alarm was raised at 9.43pm up to 90 minutes after it might have started to smoulder, the inquest was told.

Mr Balmain recorded an accidental death verdict.

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