Coroner calls for action after carbon monoxide death of ski instructor Graham Beesley

A CORONER has called for carbon monoxide alarms to be fitted in all homes.

Concluding the inquest into the tragic death of ski instructor and mountaineer Graham Beesley, coroner Stuart Fisher also said gas appliances must be checked by registered professionals regularly if more deaths are to be averted.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Fisher said the North Cotes homeowner’s multi-fuel burner was blocked.

Despite Mr Beesley having his chimney swept regularly, internal flues in the burner were 80 per cent blocked, the inquest heard.

The 59-year-old former human resources manager at the Grimsby Telegraph was found dead on September 26.

A post mortem examination revealed he died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Mr Beesley had encountered problems the first time he lit his Parkray 99G burner, the inquest heard.

Neighbour Andrew Hemmings told how he saw him opening doors and windows to get rid of the smoke which had filled the cottage as he lit the burner for the first time for the autumn on September 25.

Due to the leak of smoke, Mr Beesley swapped the wood for a smokeless fuel, the inquest heard.

He went to bed and was found dead the following day after concerns were raised about his absence at a family gathering.

Summing up, Mr Fisher said: “There was no problem with the chimney, but the internal flues were 80 per cent blocked causing carbon monoxide to be emitted into the living room and then, via the open plan staircase to the bedroom upstairs.”

He said no carbon monoxide detector was fitted.

Mr Fisher said: “Multi-fuel stoves such as this should be maintained in accordance with manufacturers’ recommendations.

“If anyone is in doubt they should call a professional heating engineer.

“Carbon monoxide detectors should be fitted in all properties. Had one been fitted, it would almost certainly have averted the death of an otherwise perfectly healthy individual.”

In a statement read at the inquest, Mr Beesley’s cousin Stephen George said: “He was extremely fit for his age. He was a ski instructor and mountaineer.”

The hearing was told Mr Beesley had lived in the cottage, in Chapel Row, for 24 years and regularly had his chimney swept.

After the inquest, Ian Robinson, a family friend spoke of the impact of the tragedy.

Referring to the campaign in the Grimsby Telegraph to have alarms fitted in every home through special deals and giveaways, he said: “The Grimsby Telegraph is doing a tremendous job making people aware.

“We fully support what the coroner said.

“Here was a fit, healthy and sensible person who has died from it, so it can happen to anybody. We have to take a lesson from what happened to Graham in his memory. I know lots of people who have had alarms fitted since his death.

“Thanks to the Telegraph campaign there could be thousands of people who have got their appliances checked and had detectors fitted.”

For more information please click here