Paraffin Lamp Explosion – Woman Killed – Son Injured.

February 1892

Mexborough & Swinton Times, February 18th 1892

Explosion Of Paraffin Lamp

Woman Killed – Son Injured.

An inquest was held at the Reresby Arms, Denaby Main, yesterday afternoon (Friday), before Mr. Dossey Wightman, coroner, on the body of Elizabeth Gosling, aged 55, a married woman, who died from the effects of injuries caused by the explosion of a paraffin lamp on the previous Tuesday night.

The jury were as follows :-

Abnel Wilson ( foreman ), Hy. Cooke, Alfred Parkin, John Johnson, Edwin Whitehouse, Benjamin Streets, John Gibson, Jas. Pickard, Thos. Parks, George Flinders, Wm. Hinchliffe, and Peter Perry.

Richard Gosling, the husband of the deceased was the first witness, and said he was employed by the Denaby Main Colliery Company as a sinker. His wife had been a healthy woman and was not subject to fits. On the 16th instant, at about half past eight, he went to bed, leaving the deceased at the table sewing. A step-son, aged 16, was with his mother. He did not hear the step-son go to bed. Two lodgers were also down stairs.

About 10-37, he heard a cry of ” Fire ” and ” Dick get up the house is on fire !” He went down stairs and saw his wife on fire, and his step-son trying to put out the flames. He believed his wife was then dead. He believed the lamp had exploded as she was in the act of going upstairs to bed. The lamp had a quart of paraffin in it. She had been in the habit of taking it upstairs. Glass lay near the top of the stairs, and he supposed this would be the effect of the explosion. He thought the draft had sent the flame into the holder of the paraffin. He believed all had gone to bed excepting his wife.

We had four lodgers. One was at work, and another came home. There was a part of a leg of mutton and part of a ham on the table ready for the lodgers.

The Foreman : Was it true there was a quarrel ? – No.

You came home drunk ? – No I was fresh.

The Coroner : That is why you went to bed so early ? – Yes.

A certificate was handed to the Coroner to the effect that the step-son was suffering from severe burns on his hand and face, and that it was not advisable for him to leave the house, as erysipelas might supervene.

William Henry Rose, the injured step-son, had deposed in the presence of a constable :-

” I am a sinker for the Denaby Main Colliery Company, and employed at the Cadeby new pit. On Tuesday I went to bed at 9-35 p.m. When I had been in bed some time I heard a crash downstairs, the I heard my mother shout for help. I at once got out of bed and on getting to the bottom of the stairs I found them on fire, and my mother in flames with her head laying in a chair. I then threw over a jacket and shawl. I heard her moan once after I got down.

I called my step-father ( Richard Gosling ) up, and he rushed past me on the stairs. By this time she was quite dead, and in order to put out the flames I threw a bucket of water, and my step-father pulled her from the chair to the floor. I think the cause of the fire is due to the lamp exploding, for there were pieces of glass on the top step, two on the stairs, and the remainder of the lamp, was on the bottom step broken. I do not blame anyone for it. I was the last going to bed and the first to find her.”

The Coroner remarked that the occurrence was obviously accidental, and the jury returned a verdict to this effect.