Grandfather dies in Tottenham house blaze
A GRANDFATHER who required constant care has died after becoming trapped in a bedroom during a “severe” house fire.
The elderly man, named locally as Stanley Watson, tragically died when a fire ripped through his three storey home in Hillside Road, South Tottenham, at about 6pm last night.
The victim, thought to be an 81-year-old father of five from Jamaica, was alone when the blaze spread through the ground floor, trapping him in his bedroom on the same floor at the back of the property.
Mr Watson, who needed a zimmer frame to walk around the house and was unable to use stairs since a stroke left him immobile two years ago, had four carers who cooked and cleaned for him throughout the day.
It is understood his daughter died of a heart attack in the same house last year and his adult granddaughter had been living with him ever since.
One of his carers, who did not want to be named, said: “I was with him that morning, I served him breakfast and everything was fine. Oh my gosh it’s terrible. All of us are in shock. We couldn’t believe it when we got the call.
“He was a good guy, he was a father and a grandfather. He wasn’t too mobile and didn’t leave the house very often. I just can’t believe that you see someone and then a couple of hours later he’s dead.”
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A woman neighbour, in her 60s, said: “He was always really friendly and said hello, but since he became immobile it was very rare to see him, but he obviously had a big family because his sons and daughters used to come around.”
Firefighters rushed to the scene after being alerted by a member of his family, the rest of whom were not in the building, but discovered the victim was already dead at the scene.
The upper floors were heavily smoke logged, but fire crews from Tottenham, Stoke Newington and Walthamstow, managed to save 50 per cent of the ground floor from being completely gutted.
Jon Thornton, station officer at Tottenham Fire Station, said: “Eight firefighters in breathing equipment were quick to search all 12 rooms under really awful conditions - the smoke and heat was very severe. But when they reached the back of the property he was already dead when we arrived.
“All our thoughts are with the family because of the tragic circumstances in which their beloved member of their family died.”
The home is separated into five separate mezzanine levels making it “very tricky” for firefighters to make their way around with “very little visibility”, according to Mr Thornton.
The blaze was under control in just 45 minutes, but fire crews and police officers remained at the scene today.
The cause of the fire and the circumstances of Mr Watson’s death are still under investigation.