Cottage Fire – Fatal Sequel To Denaby Outbreak – Plucky Neighbours.

July 1928

Mexborough and Swinton Times July 20, 1928

Cottage Fire.     
Fatal Sequel To Denaby Outbreak.
Plucky Neighbours.

John McGowan aged 76, of 78, Balby Street, Denaby Main, who was badly burned last Thursday, morning in. circumstances described in.the last issue of this paper, died of his injuries in the Fullerton Hospital on Friday evening, and an inquest was held by Mr Frank Allen on Saturday.

John McGowan (son) gave evidence of identification, and said he was called to his father’s home early on Thursday morning. He found both parents suffering from burns caused from an outbreak of fire, the origin of which is not known. his father was conveyed to the Fullerton Hospital and his mother to his sister’s home at Edlington. His Father was formerly a dataller employed at the colliery, but had not been able to work for some time, and at the time of the accident ho was ill and bedfast.

Frank Cousins, miner, of Balby Street, Denaby Main, said he lived two doors away from the McGowan’s, and heard the alarm of fire given about three o’clock on Thursday morning. He went out, and saw flames issuing from the fanlight of the front door of No. 78. The door was locked; but he managed to burst it open, and two youths named Riley and Rose entered the house with him and rescued McGowan and, his wife, who were occupying the front sitting-room as a bedroom. The bed was on fire, and so was a sofa.         Neighbours assisted to extinguish the flames.

Witness found McGowan lying partly out of bed as though he had been struggling to get free of the burning bedclothes. McGowan was removed to a neighbour’s house, and witness, who was an ambulance man, gave first-aid for burns and shock, and he was then removed to the Fullerton Hospital. Witness added that he examined the room, but there ‘was a candle partly burnt, sign of fire in the grate and no lamp in the room, but there was a candle partly burnt.

Edward Riley, miner, of Balby Street, Denaby Main’, gave similar evidence.

Dr. T. Ford said that McGowan was very severely burned on the right side, on the face, on the hack and legs, and his death was due to shock caused by his injuries.

The Coroner said he was sorry to hear that Mrs. McGowan was also very ill and badly burned. The old couple had been in a sad plight. He commended the witnesses Cousins and Riley and the youth Rose, for their promptitude and pluck, and was glad that they “had not personally suffered as a result of their courage and humanity.

A verdict of “Accidental death” was recorded.