A woman died from severe burns after a fire which was likely caused when she dropped a cigarette while smoking in bed, an inquest has heard.

Judith Ann Gall, a retired carer, died on February 12 this year following the blaze at her flat in sheltered accommodation at Frank Stone Court, Great Yarmouth. 

The inquest, which sat at Norfolk Coroners Court on Thursday (August 24), heard the 56-year-old suffered a major stroke before moving into the accommodation, where she was mostly bound to her bed or chair. 

Great Yarmouth Mercury: The inquest into the death of Judith Gall was heard at Norfolk Coroner's Court on Thursday, August 24.The inquest into the death of Judith Gall was heard at Norfolk Coroner's Court on Thursday, August 24.

On a previous visit from a fire safety officer, Ms Gall, who was a smoker, said she did not want to give up because it was her "only enjoyment in life", the inquest heard.

In the early hours of February 11 this year, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service received a call from Careline, a 24-hour emergency response service, who had been alerted by the activation of a pendant at Ms Gall's flat.

When fire crews arrived they could not access her bedroom immediately but removed her from the flat within three minutes.

Ms Gall, who had suffered 40pc burns, was taken to the James Paget hospital and then the specialist burn unit at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex. 

A fire service investigation found the most probable cause of the blaze was "accidental disposal of a cigarette on the bedding".

Yvonne Blake, Area Cororner for Norfolk, said the cause of death was bilateral lower limb ischaemia - a condition in which blood flow is restricted or reduced - related to diabetes and peripheral vascular disease, as well as flame burns with inhalation injury.

She said she would write an informal letter to Great Yarmouth Borough Council, who own Frank Stone Court, asking them to consider installing a keypad at the entrance and a map of the flats in the foyer. 

She would also write to Norfolk County Council adult social services and ask them about the provision of fire retardant duvets.