Pensioner dies after accidentally setting herself on fire

The North West Air Ambulance
The North West Air Ambulance
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A pensioner who was airlifted to hospital after accidentally setting herself on fire has died.

Ruby Catlow, 79, was flown to Wythenshawe Hospital’s specialist burns unit following Thursday evening’s accident, but her injuries proved fatal.

The accident, which happened in Hammerton Place, Grange Park, is believed to have involved a lit cigarette, and a full investigation by the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service is now being carried out.

An ambulance was called and arrived 16 minutes later.

Three fire crews — two from Blackpool and one from Bispham — were also called, while a helicopter from the North West Air Ambulance landed nearby.

Tributes were paid to Ruby on The Gazette’s Facebook page yesterday, including by family members and friends.

Caroline Corry wrote: “She lost her battle at about 3.30 today. She wasn’t in pain. She will be missed dearly.”

Jan Fricker added: “RIP Ruby xxx devastating tragic news for our all family.”

And Mike Bell said: “Rest in peace, condolences to the family.”

Before news of Ruby’s death emerged, a spokesman for the North West Ambulance Service said: “The trust apologises for the delay and would like to assure the patient that we did allocate a resource as soon as one became available.

“We were dealing with a number of other incidents within the Blackpool area at the time, including three other ‘red’ priority calls within the same hour.”