Girl, Four, and Disabled Gran Killed in Gas Heater Blaze

A four-year-old girl and her disabled grandmother died trying to escape a flat fire sparked by a gas heater only days before Christmas, an inquest heard.

Tamiyah Rose Springer made it to the front door of the flat but was unable to open it and collapsed with smoke inhalation. Wheelchair-bound Collene Springer, 50, who had multiple sclerosis, was found sitting unconscious slumped to one side in the hallway six days before Christmas last year.

A neighbour heard loud bangs and Tamiyah's scream but was beaten back by the heat.

When firefighters arrived at the flat in Solomon Avenue, Upper Edmonton, they had to push Tamiyah out of the way to gain entry.

The blaze started when clothes draped over a walking frame in front of a portable gas heater caught fire, North London coroner's court heard.

An upstairs neighbour, alerted by a series of "loud bangs" and Tamiyah's screams, saw smoke coming from the front door and dialled 999.

Assistant coroner Andrew Walker said: "The firefighter was unable to push the door open because Tamiyah Rose had collapsed behind the door.

"He pushed Tamiyah Rose a short distance into the flat allowing him to open the door fully and then recovered her from the flat.

"Collene Springer was sitting in a wheelchair in the middle of the hallway. She was sitting unconscious and slumped to one side.

"It is reasonable to assume that Collene Springer's immobility and Tamiyah Rose Springer's inability to deal with the situation, exacerbated by the speed the fire developed, hampered their attempts to escape."

Tamiyah Rose was pronounced dead at the scene. Her grandmother died four days later, on December 23, at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

Neil Crossfield, from the London Fire Brigade fire investigation team, told the inquest the cause of the fire was a Calor gas heater that had been placed too close to the end of a bed.

Photos of the scene showed "clothing hanging on a walking frame" in front of the heater.

Mr Crossfield added: "It would have been very quick - you wouldn't have known anything at all. And the few seconds before it ignited, it would have been a little bit of smoke and then it would set fire very quickly."

Det Insp Hayley Guest said the heaters did not carry serial numbers and it was not possible to say where it had come from or who had installed it.

Declaring the deaths accidental, Mr Walker said: "I am satisfied that the fire started as a consequence of items of clothing that were in front of a portable gas heater.

"It seems to me that the deaths were the result of an accident."

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Sandy Bay: a Gorgeous Home in a Crackerjack Spot
4b Stephanie Close, Sandy Bay. Picture: SUPPLIEDSource:SuppliedHOW much time would a homeowner spend enjoying a view such as this one in Stephanie Close?Half an hour every day? An hour? All day long and at night-time, too?When venturing into this remarkable property, the wide blue vista is certainly the first thing you notice - and then it is pretty hard to turn your eyes away from.From its perch high on the hillside in Sandy Bay, this sophisticated family-sized home seems to keep a careful watch on the city.The breathtaking vista curves around past the mountain, past the city to the Tasman Bridge and across the Derwent to the Eastern Shore.From the master bedroom the owners can see all the way to Dunalley.Bask in the splendour.Source:SuppliedOpen and airy.Source:SuppliedCharlotte Peterswald for Property director Kim Morgan said while Hobart is full of great views, this is a particularly impressive one.Kim said good architecture must pass the test of time and this home - built by Gordon Armstrong and designed by architect Paul Gilby - passes with flying colours."This is a gorgeous house in a crackerjack spot," he said."And it presents fantastically with its fresh paint and new carpets."The position is quite private, set back from the road and out of sight from its neighbours."Set across two spacious levels, each room at the front of the house enjoys uninterrupted views and natural warmth from the all-day sun.Positioned to bask in the beautiful views, the master bedroom is truly special. It boasts a private balcony from which the owners can enjoy the outlook over a morning coffee.The expansive ensuite looks like it is pulled straight from a glossy magazine with its floor-to-ceiling marble tiles, large vanity, walk-in shower and luxurious corner spa bath.Sumptuous master suite.Source:SuppliedBathroom bliss.Source:SuppliedThis ensuite curves around the corner, too.Source:SuppliedThe master bedroom also has a large dressing room.For a family lifestyle, it will be hard to find better than this home's family living area, highlighted by floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing the incredible vista.From this space there is direct access to two sun-drenched balconies.This connection to the outdoors is also found in the bedrooms and the rumpus, with each featuring access to the home's many terraces.Adjacent to the living room is a formal sitting room and dining area with a gas heater, large windows and plush carpet.This room opens to a rear paved courtyard with established trees and vegetable gardens.With the kitchen positioned alongside the dining space, indoor-outdoor entertaining will be a breeze.With tiles underfoot and sleek marble benchtops, the kitchen is a treat. There is an island bench with sinks and quality Samsung, Westinghouse and Bosch appliances, including a stainless-steel fridge, double oven and range hood, a five-burner gas cooktop and a dishwasher. The walk-in pantry with extra bench and cupboard space is a beautiful bonus.Family-sized entertainer.Source:SuppliedLet the sun shine in.Source:SuppliedFollowing the home's beautiful curves, the lower-level floor plan offers a choice of two bedrooms and an office, or three bedrooms if desired.Another comfortable sitting room has a wall-mounted electric heater, and access to the wraparound lower-level balcony.An atrium above the stairs allows even more light into the home.Two of the bedrooms on the ground floor are sizeable, each with built-in wardrobes, ensuites and incredible views.The third room has built-in storage and is currently used as a home office or study.A guest bathroom is located nearby containing a shower, bath and vanity.Storage is hidden neatly within multiple cupboards on the lower level.Top of the hill.Source:SuppliedAnother look at the Hobart vista.Source:SuppliedThere is ducted vacuuming throughout, and ducted heating across both levels ensures year-round comfort.The secure garage provides space for up to three vehicles, plus extra storage.For security, a remote-controlled entrance gate can be operated from within the home. There is also an alarm system and sensor lights.No.4b Stephanie Close is listed with Charlotte Peterswald for Property at $1.55 million-plus.Sandy Bay consistently posts Tasmania's second highest median prices behind only neighbouring Battery Point.CoreLogic data shows the median house price had grown by about 5 per cent in the 12 months through February.Originally published asHeight of elegance
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