North East Wales

Pensioner Peter Bratby's collections 'may have led to his death'

A pensioner's massive haul of collectables may have led to his death when fire broke out at his Denbighshire home, and inquest has been told.

Retired engineer Peter Bratby died when a blaze gutted his home Beverley Drive, Prestatyn last November.

The inquest in the town heard how environmental health officers had tried to persuade the 71-year-old to tidy up the property.

Coroner John Gittins recorded a verdict of accidental death.

The hearing was told council officers also called in fire officers who advised Mr Bratby to de-clutter, but they could not force him to take action.

Mr Bratby's brother Graham said he had a massive collection of records, most of them from the 50s and 60s as well as toys, games and jigsaws.

"He was a collector rather than a hoarder. He didn't like to part with anything," he said.

A post-mortem examination showed Mr Bratby died of smoke inhalation.

The coroner said he was reassured that information was shared among the relevant authorities in such cases.

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