Saturday 20 January 2018

Coroner warns on chip pan fires after death of tragic teen

Evan Kidney (17) died from smoke inhalation last October 19

Evan Kidney
Evan Kidney

A TEENAGER who narrowly avoided drowning died only months later in a chip pan fire despite the heroic efforts of his older brother to save him.

Evan Kidney (17) died from smoke inhalation last October 19 after the pan he was using to cook chips caught fire in his grandmother's house in Wilton, Cork.

His death prompted South Cork Coroner Frank O'Connell to issue a stark warning about the dangers of using chip pans after consuming alcohol.

"This is the fourth such case I've dealt with in the last 22 years where a person coming home who'd had a few drinks put something on to cook and then died," he said.


"They were older but all were in similar circumstances. And this is just one small part of Cork.

"It's perfectly understandable that people would be hungry, but I must warn of the dangers involved.

"Clearly there is great danger when you are under the influence and you put something on to cook that could catch fire."

Evan, of Lower Pouladuff Road, Cork, had drunk beer and vodka earlier in the evening before deciding to go back alone to his grandmother's.

Gardai believe he put on the pan to cook chips but then fell asleep in the kitchen.

He had earlier sent a text to his brother looking for the number of a local takeaway.

The pan caught fire and Evan inhaled a fatal dose of smoke and carbon monoxide while he slept.

He was found on the floor of the house in Elmvale, Wilton, by his worried brother, Dylan (19).

The fire damage was confined to the chip pan and cooker, but it had generated a significant amount of smoke before burning itself out.

Dylan raised the alarm and informed his family before starting cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, but Evan died at the scene.

The boys' mother, Siobhan, sobbed as the inquest was told that Evan had avoided drowning at Banna Strand a few months earlier.

His aunt, Jennifer, wept as she recalled having to identify his body at Cork University Hospital.

"I kissed Evan's eyes, which looked like they had tears in them," she said.

Dr Bolster ruled the teen died of acute carbon monoxide poisoning consistent with the inhalation of smoke in an accidental house fire.

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