Matthew Nixon tributes: 'Life won't ever be the same again without him'
MATTHEW Nixon was working extra hard to save up to start a new life in Australia when he died.
His family said the popular joker was planning a move to Perth when his life was tragically cut short in December 2010.
Sister Kelly Dibble, aged 30, said: "It was all he ever went on about. The person he did his apprenticeship for had emigrated and offered him a job. He went over for a holiday the year before and he really liked it. He was properly saving up, hardly going out. He was planning to go soon after Christmas."
Instead of fulfilling his dream, the 22-year old heating engineer died after he was overcome by carbon monoxide while installing a central heating system.
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Miss Dibble, who lived in Talke before moving to Yorkshire, said: "When he died it was like life kind of stopped. Life will never be the same without him. I didn't know anyone who didn't like him. He was a joker, he had loads of friends. He was very popular with the ladies.
"It's hard to accept what happened. It makes life seem cruel."
Friends and family have since raised thousands of pounds in Matthew's memory for various causes.
Matthew, of Talke, had been working for Burslem-based BGC since starting an apprenticeship with the firm, which has since ceased trading, in 2004.
When he died on Monday, December 13, 2010, he was on the fourth day of a job fitting a central heating system at an empty flat in Brocklehurst Avenue, Macclesfield.
The inquest heard there was some mystery surrounding the circumstances that led to Matthew's death because although the generator had been switched on, Matthew's electric drill was in his van.
Detective Sergeant Caroline Smith, from Cheshire Police, said: "Trying to identify the exact time he died is something we have struggled with. The indication would be early in the day.
"We have still got the question as to why the generator was in the switched on mode. There was nothing in the room that had a plug except an iPhone docking station, but that was not plugged in."
Matthew had worked three days the previous week using a generator, and on the day he died he had hired out the machine from the Macclesfield depot of tool hire company Brandon Hire. He needed it to power his electric drill because there was no mains power at the property, which was owned by Cheshire Peaks and Plains Housing Association, as the meter was in debt.
The inquest heard using a generator was normal practice if there was no power at a work site and Matthew had taken one out at least three times. Brandon Hire manager Andrew Stout said he would not routinely warn of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, but would offer a demonstration during which he would touch on the subject.
He said Matthew never had a demonstration because he knew how to use the machine.
Health and Safety Executive inspector Catherine Willars said the generator came with instructions and a safety warning which read: "To reduce the risk of serious or fatal injury from breathing in toxic fumes, never run the generator indoors, or in a poorly ventilated area."
Matthew's colleagues told the inquest they would have put the machine outside. Simon Worthington, who did his apprenticeship at the same time as Matthew, said: "I wouldn't use petrol machinery inside. I know that from my training."
Asked if he would have used the generator inside the flat where Matthew was working, he said: "No. I would have put the generator outside the flat's front door."
Builder Linden Cawley, from Tunstall, who also worked for BGC, said he would not have used a generator inside, but thought it was a 'grey area' in the industry.