67-year-old Roger Freestone was so devoted to his bed-ridden wife that when their house went up in flames he refused to leave her side and died right next to her.
Tragically, a cardboard box in the couples home in Cambridge accidentally caught fire before turning their entire house into a fierce blaze back in March this year.
Upon realising there was no way he could rescue his wife, Maureen, Roger chose not to save himself but to stay alongside his love – opting for death rather than leaving her alone.
In the aftermath of their deaths, an inquest found the couple were hoarders who had ‘large amounts of combustible material’ in their home – thus explaining the cardboard box which caught fire.
However as if things couldn’t get any worse, gas canisters which were also in the house – as Roger used them for his work – exploded after being caught in the blaze, preventing fire services from entering the house.
The coroner who investigated the deaths, David Heming, said:
A cardboard box in the lounge area where Mr Freestone was accidentally ignited and he attempted to remove it in the hallway but unfortunately a fire rapidly spread.
Rather than attempt to leave the property where there was a clear opportunity to as well, he stayed, no doubt realising that his wife would not be able to extricate herself.
In devotion to his wife and added. He [Roger] went back and tried to make no attempt to leave himself.
The couple were both pronounced dead at 9:25pm on March 28 due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.