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Hearing adjourned for more evidence
A toddler who died from severe burns after falling on to a gas fire had lost her balance after climbing on a safety guard fitted by a Bradford Council-run children’s centre, an inquest heard.
Hawwa Khan, who was 23 months old, suffered 60 per cent burns when the tragedy happened at the family home in Marsh Street, West Bowling, last December.
Yesterday the hearing in Bradford was adjourned so that witnesses from the Burnett Fields Children and Family Centre in Greaves Street could attend to answer questions.
It is one of 42 Council-run centres across Bradford which stem from the national Sure Start scheme.
Hawwa’s mother, Bushra Kauser, told the inquest how she had been offered the home safety check by the centre which arranged for a man to come and fit cupboard locks, socket covers, gates and the fireguard.
She said: “I got approached by a woman in the street. The lady from the centre filled out a form and said I was eligible for some safety scheme and they would come and fit it all in – which they did.”
But fire investigator Jonathan Needham told Coroner Peter Straker the mesh-type fireguard had not been suitable for the modern fire at the house as it was raised up from the floor and built into the chimney breast.
Mr Needham said: “The guard did not completely protect the fire.”
Hawwa had managed to climb onto a square-shaped pouffe before clambering from it on top of the fireguard and losing her balance, the inquest was told.
She was initially taken to Bradford Royal Infirmary but was then transferred to the Royal Manchester Hospital’s intensive care unit for specialist treatment.
Her burns were so severe that despite medics’ best efforts to save her and give skin grafts, her condition deteriorated.
She developed seizures before her organs failed and she became so ill she could not be given life support.
She died on December 27.
Adjourning the hearing, Mr Straker said: “This is not a court of blame, it’s a court of fact-finding to find the truth and prevent other deaths.”
Outside the court, Mrs Kausar said: “Hawwa was loved. We miss her very much.”