23 Apr 2010

Beaven family hopes others won't make same mistake

8:18 pm on 23 April 2010

The family of a world renowned researcher who died last year while trying to extinguish a fire in his holiday home is pleading with the public not to make the same mistake.

The Christchurch coroner has found that Sir Donald Beaven, 85, died from smoke inhalation while trying to put out a bedroom fire with a garden hose.

Sir Donald's daughter, Sarah Beaven, told the coroner she hoped people would learn from the case and get out of a burning house straight away.

Fire safety officer Graeme Reid said the blaze started in the master bed, either from an electric blanket or small fan heater.

He told the court it is dangerous to put out any fire - even if it appears small and insignificant.

Mr Reid said Sir Donald flipped the mattress to try to put out the fire, but it may have burst open, fuelling the blaze with the flammable mattress filling.