Smart, John 1886 December 11th Devizes
An inquest was held at West Brook on Saturday, before Mr Sylvester, coroner for Mid-Wilts, touching the death of John Smart, who was burnt to death by a fire which occurred at his residence on the previous Wednesday evening. The body of the deceased consisted merely of a charred trunk, the legs and arms being burnt entirely off.
The widow, Harriett Smart, said the deceased was 66 years of age, and had been paralysed for six years. The jury found that the deceased came by his death by accidental burning.
There is nothing to show how the fire originated, but it surmised that the poor old man’s clothes must have been become ignited in some way and communicated with the furniture and bedclothes. One of the cottagers, named Harriet Watts, who was away from home at the time, lost everything, her furniture, &c., being worth about £40, whilst she had £3 10s in money in the house.