Woman accidentally set fire to herself with lighter in Derby

Kelly Miklasz Image copyright Bee-Jay Huckle
Image caption The inquest heard that 65% of Kelly Miklasz's body was burnt in the fire

A woman who died due to severe burns had accidentally set herself on fire in a homeless hostel while smoking, an inquest heard.

Derby Coroner's Court heard Kelly Miklasz had removed the metal cap and flint of a lighter and used it to smoke, causing the fluid to set alight.

Coroner Dr Robert Hunter found her death was accidental, and she died from septicaemia and multiple organ failure.

Miss Miklasz's mother Donna Lester said she had a "heart of gold".

The court heard that 65% of the 22-year-old's body was burnt in the fire, which happened in Centenary House, in Mount Street, Derby, on 25 August.

Det Con Robert Donald told the inquest that CCTV in the corridor showed Miss Miklasz in her room doorway "engulfed in flames", while part of her bedroom was also alight.

He said she then left her room, and a member of staff covered her in a fire blanket and put out the fire in Miss Miklasz's room. The staff member then splashed water on her before the emergency services arrived.

Image copyright Bee-Jay Huckle
Image caption The court heard Kelly Miklasz was wearing flammable clothing at the time

Dr Hunter ruled that it was an accidental death, concluding that she died from septicaemia and multiple organ failure, due to severe and extensive thermal burns.

He said: "The circumstances being she died on 2 September 2018 at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham from effects of severe burns from clothes catching fire from escaped lighter fluid.

"It had been adapted to create a longer burn."

Image copyright Bee-Jay Huckle
Image caption The court heard Kelly Miklasz had a known history of drug use

The inquest heard that this is commonly done to make the flame burn for longer without burning fingers.

Evidence of a bong, a bag containing synthetic cannabinoids and a disposable lighter were found in Miss Miklasz's room.

Ms Lester said she was "heartbroken" that she must have been in so much pain on fire.

She said when her daughter was 16 "she got in with wrong people and went off the rails and started taking drink and drugs".

Follow BBC East Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, or on Instagram. Send your story ideas to

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites