John Nolan fire death: Dalston builder's appeal after brother suffers horrific burns in mystery blaze
PUBLISHED: 18:02 25 September 2017 | UPDATED: 18:21 25 September 2017
A grieving Dalston builder whose brother died after sustaining horrific burns in the street has appealed for information about his final hours.
Pensioner John Nolan was found on fire not far from his Tottenham flat after going out for a walk.
The 70-year-old suffered horrific injuries and was airlifted to hospital on September 17. He died the next day at a specialist burns hospital when life support was turned off.
His family described John as being “completely unrecognisable” due to the severity of his injuries.
Brother Jimmy Nolan, 68, a builder who lives in Queensbridge Road, said: “I was in awful shock. I just couldn’t believe what had happened. We can only say one thing – that we don’t know what happened.”
John’s family believe he went out for his daily walk sometime after 11am.
Jimmy, who was John’s carer, was with him at his flat that morning but left after breakfast.
“I took the dog out for a walk and I came back,” he said. “John was up and dressed, he had a clean pair of jeans on and a clean top on. He was having his Weetabix.
“At about 11am I went out to catch the train to Stoke Newington and I said ‘I’ll see you later on’.
“I came back at about 2 o’clock and the police were outside the door.”
Police said they were called to reports of a man on fire outside the William House flats in Orchard Place at 1pm.
People living in the flats told the Gazette a man was heard in severe distress. One, retired seamstress Veronika Dinsmore, 78, said: “I saw my neighbour and he was carrying a bucket of water. He threw two buckets of water on him apparently and then the fire brigade came.”
John’s nephew, Kevin Byrne, urged anyone with information to contact police, saying the family “won’t rest until we’ve found out what has happened to John”.
Jimmy described his brother as a “very good and quiet” man.
“He was always thanking me for everything I’d done for him over the last couple of years,” he said. “If anyone does know anything about how it happened, we hope they will report it.”
Police said they are treating John’s death as unexplained.
Anyone with information can call cops on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or tweet information to police via @MetCC.