Victoria Stockman may still be alive if a working smoke detector had been installed in her Swindon flat

News from Swindon Advertiser:

The hearing, at the Coroner’s Court in Salisbury yesterday, heard that the 33-year-old business co-ordinator with IMSM died after a cigarette end set fire to a quilt on the sofa in her flat in Redcliffe Street on 1 May last year.

Vicky was discovered by firefighters unconscious and not breathing on the floor of the flat, less than a metre away from her front door near to the burning sofa and an overturned table.

David Coward, assistant coroner for Wiltshire and Swindon, recorded a verdict of accidental death, but said that the presence of a smoke alarm at the rented dwelling could have given Vicky vital seconds to make good her escape.

He said: “The fire was a result of Vicky discarding an ignited cigarette on the cover of the settee and this caused substantial smouldering and produced a fire and a substantial amount of smoke.

“The lack of a smoke detector to give an alarm and precious minutes or even seconds in this case were lost to Vicky.”