A BARNSLEY man who died in a house fire in Gawber could have been saved if his home had been properly fitted with smoke alarms, an inquest found.

Richard Ball died when fire tore through the single storey detached bungalow on Treelands in May last year.

The blaze started in the kitchen and is thought to have been caused by a faulty fridge. Fire service investigators found a smoke alarm inside the property that had not been fitted to the ceiling.

South Yorkshire Coroner Christopher Dorries, recording a narrative verdict, said: “Unfortunately, whilst there was a smoke alarm present within the property it was not appropriately fitted to a ceiling and would not have given Mr Ball early warning of the smoke and fire gasses.

“It is likely that he would have had sufficient time to escape in the circumstances had the alarm been properly fitted and working.”

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s Mick Mason, said: “This tragic incident is the clearest possible evidence as to why people should make sure their homes are fitted with working smoke alarms and test them regularly.”

For free reminders to test your smoke alarms, register at pressthebutton.co.uk