Man died in fire trying to save pet dog

Beech Close in Corby where the fire occurred
Beech Close in Corby where the fire occurred

A man died in a house fire after trying to save a pet dog as flames ripped through the building, an inquest was told.

Milan Zumrik, 55, died after going back into the house to rescue the family pet after initially escaping when a fire broke out at his property in Beech Close, Corby, on September 3, 2011.

It was the dog that raised the alarm after waking up the residents when the fire detectors failed to work, but the animal also perished in the flames.

The inquest heard that Slovakian-born Mr Zumrik and his wife had two friends at the house that night, and they were drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes.

Neighbour Steven Reid, of Beech Close, helped the residents scramble into his back garden. Giving evidence as a witness, he said: “Once they were outside, I could hear Mr Zumrik’s wife shouting for the dog. I saw him walk back into the house towards the lounge and I went to go after him but I could feel a scorching heat.

“I saw Milan walk into a bright light in the lounge and that’s the last time I saw him.”

The pet belonged to Mr Zumrik’s daughter, Gabriela Zumrikova, and she said: “I was told he went to get my dog, but I really don’t know why he went back in there. It is a very sad time for my mother.”

Fire experts at the hearing believe the fire is likely to have been accidentally started by one of the occupants, probably due to a cigarette or naked flame.

At the inquest coroner Anne Pember recorded a verdict of accidental death.