21.2.2016 Islington - fatal fire


Barnsbury house fire death: neighbours in desperate efforts to save man, 86

A man has died following a house fire on Ripplevale Road, Islington

Neighbours told how they broke down an elderly man’s front door in a frantic attempt to free him from his burning home.

A next door neighbour stated: “We got home at about 11.10pm on Saturday.  We had a coffee and could smell what we thought to be a coal fire: the wind was strong so we thought it was from the fireplace.

“We went to bed about 11.40pm and watched a bit of TV, but we could smell it getting stronger and stronger.  I went outside and noticed his light was on, which was strange because he always went to bed early.

“I saw smoke coming out of the window so I knew something was up. We banged frantically on his door and I could see smoke coming down the stairs through the letter box.

“We knocked the door down, got into the house and called up to him but there was no answer.  By that time, there was lots of smoke so we called 999.  They did CPR on him for about 45 minutes outside.” 

Fire fighters brought the man out of the first floor of the property.  Part of the first floor was damaged by fire.

Medics battled to save 86-year-old Raymond Lister after he was rescued from his Barnsbury house in the early hours of Sunday morning 21st February, but sadly the pensioner died at the scene.

Friends in Ripplevale Grove, where he had lived since the 1970s, today described Mr Lister as a “great neighbour”.  Police are treating his death as “unexplained”.

Fire crews from Euston, Holloway, Islington and Shoreditch fire stations attended the incident.

Story collated by Liz Turnbull.

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