THE family of a man who died in a fire after putting on a chip pan before falling asleep are setting up a charity to make others aware of the dangers.
Father-of-two Dave Smith, 38, was overcome by smoke as he slept at his home in Brotherston Drive, on the Fernhurst Farm estate, Blackburn.
Mr Smith’s partner Roxanne Smith said the family were still grieving for self-employed carpet fitter Dave, who died on New Year’s Day in 2009, but now felt ready to set up the Dave Smith Foundation in his memory.
They have set a £5,000 target, which they hope to reach to set up the charity which will help people who have lost loved ones in fires. It will also help people without house insurance who have lost their possessions in fires.
Roxanne said: “It is a big issue, and now is the right time. As a family we feel a little bit stronger. It’s very traumatic losing a partner, who is also the father of your children.
“The awareness needs to be out there, and we wanted to do something in Dave’s memory.
“We’ve had an amazing, massive community response. It’s melted my heart.
“It is raw to talk about it, to say ‘this is what happened’, but we don’t want it to happen to anyone else.
“If we can save one life, that’s a good job done.”
The family is hoping to work with the fire service, and the main aim of the Foundation will be to make people aware of the dangers of drinking and cooking.
A fundraiser has been organised for March 22 at Mill Hill Community Centre.
Several prizes have been donated including Rovers tickets, restaurant vouchers, and a bottle of champagne.
Raffle tickets are now on sale, and organisers are looking for people to donate cakes on the day.
Other fundraising events are also in the pipeline, including a kids’ day at Darwen football ground, and a children’s Christmas party.
A signed Blackburn Rovers shirt has also been donated, which the family is auctioning off.
To buy raffle tickets, or offer support, visit: https: //www.facebook.com/groups/603648063042649/.