AN ELDERLY woman died from smoke poisoning after accidentally frying chips with lubricant instead of cooking oil, an inquest has heard.
Carol Oldfield, 74, of Derby, cooked chips in a type of oil used to stop squeaks and protect surfaces from rust and corrosion.
Derby Coroner’s Court was told that Mrs Oldfield smothered her chips with 3-In-One oil before switching on the hob in the kitchen at her Ripley home, reports the Derby Telegraph.
The retired machinist went into another room and fell asleep for two hours, before waking up to a house full of white smoke.
Unfortunately she inhaled lethal fumes, and she died several days later.
A post-mortem showed that Mrs Oldfield was suffering from early signs of dementia, the court was told.
During the remote inquest, assistant coroner Emma Serrano explained that Mrs Oldfield called Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service on March 6 this year, just after 7pm.
The emergency call handler was told that the woman’s house was so full of the white smoke that she couldn’t see an escape route.
Firefighters told her to remain on the top floor so they could ventilate the property.
She was later taken to hospital, where an initial check found she had suffered few ill-effects.
But, Dr Marco Giovannelli, consultant at Royal Derby Hospital, said that as time passed, her condition slowly deteriorated.
Mrs Oldfield complained about a sore throat and she developed a cough during the next few days.
She was eventually moved to end-of-life care on March 16, and sadly passed away two days later.
Summing up, Miss Serrano told the inquest: “Mrs Oldfield put 3-In-One oil on her chips, which is different from cooking oil.
“She turned on the hob and went into the front room and fell asleep.
“The room filled with white smoke, which she inhaled.
“She woke up and called the fire service who managed to get her out of the address but sadly the damage had already happened.
“She did not recover and sadly passed away.”
Her death was attributed to misadventure, as Mrs Oldfield did not intend to take her own life.
She died from pneumonia and smoke inhalation.
Websites selling the lubricant explain that the drip-oil product is “made from a unique set of ingredients for use on metal surfaces”.
It “lubricates, cleans, stops squeaks, and protects surfaces from rust and corrosion, and is “ideal for motor, cycle, sports, garden and workshop applications, including inline skates, tools, wheels, fans and moving parts.”