A man died in a “tragic accident” after using a disposable barbecue inside a camping pod, a coroner has ruled.
Christopher Bainbridge, 45, from Darlington, died of carbon monoxide poisoning at The Quiet Site Caravan Park, Ullswater, Cumbria in March. His wife Jane Bainbridge, 42, was found by staff three days after her husband died, still in the pod suffering the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning. Mrs Bainbridge survived after “drifting in and out of consciousness”.
Recording a verdict of accidental death, South Cumbria coroner Ian Smith said the death highlighted the potentially fatal consequences of setting anything alight in an enclosed area. Giving evidence at County Hall, Kendal, Mrs Bainbridge said she had no recollection of even using a barbecue or bringing it inside the pod – described at the hearing as a “no frills” wooden hut with no ventilation. She said she later found a photograph taken on her camera of the pair standing smiling behind the lit barbecue outside the pod on 9 March.
The alarm was raised when Mr Bainbridge’s colleagues at Darlington Borough Council, where he was a management information officer, became concerned when he did not attend work the following week. His wife’s mother then called the holiday park and the owner and site manager forced the door open and found a semi-conscious Mrs Bainbridge lying on the floor and her husband’s motionless body in the corner.