This week 60 years ago: Islington man dies trying to save his pet budgie

Islington Gazette: November 23, 1956

Islington Gazette: November 23, 1956 - Credit: Archant

A 79-year-old man died trying to save his pet budgie from his blazing home.

Samuel Francis, of Sonning Street, rushed back into his first floor home after the building was evacuated.

His body was recovered from the blaze, but he died at the scene.

Fireman George Bolton said when he got to the scene, fire was coming from the front door and dense smoke was pouring out of the first and second floor windows. Upon hearing Mr Francis was inside, he tried to get in, but was held back by the sheer heat and smoke.

An inquest at St Pancras Coroners’ Court gave a verdict of accidental death.

The cause of the fire was unknown, with neighbours saying their gas cookers and television sets were turned off.