Tea light candles caused tragic fire which killed woman aboard house boat

Gazette: Tea light candles caused tragic fire which killed woman aboard house boat Tea light candles caused tragic fire which killed woman aboard house boat

A WOMAN died when a fire started on her house boat because she was using candles for light.

Britt Von Haartman was on board the boat, in Morgan Marine, in Brightlingsea, when it went up in flames on January 31.

Despite desperate attempts to revive her, Mrs Von Haartman, 65, was pronounced dead at the scene.

This afternoon, a coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death after an inquest in Chelmsford.

Speaking during the hearing, fire officer Tony Clarke, who carried out an investigation into the cause of the fire said the burn pattern pointed towards the candles being the cause of the fire.

He said: “The most likely cause was the candles.

“There were so many different materials, it is difficult to say which material would been alight first.”

During the post mortem examination, Swede Mrs Von Haartman was also found with a very high level of alcohol in her blood.

Traces of prescription drug citalopram were also present, but coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray said there was no clear evidence Mrs Haartman had intended to killer herself.

She added: “On the balance of probabilities, this was an accident.”

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