Fumes at flat killed Talke gas fitter Matthew Nixon
GAS fitter Matthew Nixon died after being overcome by fumes from a petrol generator as he installed a central heating system at an empty flat.
The 22-year-old had been dead for hours when his body was found by a worried colleague.
Burslem-based BGC worker Matthew had hired out a petrol generator to power his tools because the mains electricity was off at the property.
But an inquest heard the machinery was not supposed to be used indoors because it gave off carbon monoxide gas.
Call WHITEGATES Today 01782 209935 ..Limited offer. Available only up on production of voucher. Sell your home for £399 plus vat.* #EPC is required to market your home not included in offer.
Terms: *Upfront payment, non-refundable in the event of property remaining unsold, being withdrawn from the market or being sold by another agent, yourself or by any other means.#EPC £62.50 plus vat
Contact: 01782 209 935
Valid until: Thursday, July 04 2013
Medical tests found Matthew, of Walton Way, Talke, had an 80 per cent concentration of carbon monoxide in his blood – an 'extremely high' level.
BGC manager Simon Worthington, of Norton Heights, had tried to call Matthew several times on the day he died and became so concerned after work that he went to the flat in Macclesfield to check on him at around 8.30pm on December 13, 2010.
He told the inquest: "The front door was open. I went around the rooms and couldn't find anything. Then I came to the room where Matt was. I couldn't open the door. I started kicking it and managed to get my head in, and I saw Matt lying on the floor against the door."
Matthew – who was planning to move to Australia – was pronounced dead at the scene.
Cheshire Police decided not to bring any charges after a joint investigation with the Health and Safety Executive.
The inquest heard former Alsager School pupil Matthew would have known about the dangers of carbon monoxide, and that a generator produced potentially fatal fumes.
Electrician Daniel Johnson, of Kidsgrove, had worked with Matthew at the flat five days earlier when he installed a smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide detector.
He told the inquest: "Matt was using the generator. I said it was dangerous, he said he was only using it for little bursts while he was drilling, so I didn't think it would be a massive problem."
The inquest heard the carbon monoxide detector displayed a red warning light when it was switched on in the bedroom where Matthew was using the generator.
Mr Johnson added: "Matt was on the phone when I saw the light flash. I pointed to it and he said, just in a jokey way, 'I will end up coming here on Monday and killing myself'."
The last time anyone spoke to Matthew was 9.30am on the day of his death. A delivery driver called at the flat at 2.10pm and got no reply.
A jury returned a verdict of accidental death yesterday, following a two-day hearing.
Cheshire Coroner Nicholas Rheinberg said: "This was a happy, popular lad with his whole life ahead of him."
Following the inquest, Matthew's sister Kelly Dibble, aged 30, said: "Matthew was a very popular person. His death makes us angry because you would never expect something like that to happen. It could happen to anyone."