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Illicit cigarette warning after fire death in Bournemouth

Date: 5th May, 2016

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service are urging the public to think about where they buy cigarettes, after a fire in Bournemouth which killed an elderly woman.

An inquest was held today into the death of Barbara Rankilor who sadly passed away after a fire at her home in Cranleigh Road, Bournemouth on 8th November 2015. The coroner, Mr Sheriff Payne delivered a verdict that Miss Rankilor died as the result of an accident which caused extensive burns covering 70% of her body, following a fire caused by a cigarette. The cigarette in question was from a batch which had been purchased cheaply and did not meet current EU standards.

Fire Safety Manager (South) for Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, Station Manager Stuart Granger said: “Unfortunately Miss Rankilor’s death could have been prevented. She was smoking a cigarette which does not comply with EU law and therefore did not have the capability to self-extinguish. EU compliant cigarettes have two fire safety bands along their length. If the cigarette burns up to the band and is not inhaled upon, it will self-extinguish. This is a called reduced ignition propensity or ‘fire safer’ cigarette.

He added: “Non reduced ignition propensity cigarettes can burn faster and hotter and without the capability to self-extinguish, if they are dropped they can start a fire very quickly. If you are buying or selling these cigarettes you are putting yourself and others at risk.”

Julie Grant knows all too well the effect these cigarettes can have, after the death of her mother in April 2012. June Buffham died following a fire at her home which the coroner linked with Jin Ling cigarettes which are non-reduced ignition propensity.

Julie said: “I am saddened to hear that another life has been taken through the use of illicit cigarettes. I am and will continue to campaign for harsher sentences for those caught selling these illegal cigarettes”.


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