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Man dies from diesel heater fumes, court hears

A man has died after accidentally inhaling fumes from a diesel heater being used to warm an abandoned caravan he had been staying in.

Anatolijs Grisakovs was found dead inside a caravan on a King’s Lynn industrial estate on February 25, Norfolk Coroner’s Court heard.

Mr Grisakovs, 62, had been sleeping rough in Lynn town centre until he met and befriended Andzej Joda, around two-and-a-half years ago.

Mr Joda advised the Latvian-born man he could sleep in an abandoned caravan which was being kept in Hereford Way in the Hardwick Narrows industrial estate – where he was eventually found.

The court heard Mr Grisakovs had spent more than two years staying in the van and had been using a diesel-powered heater to keep warm.

However, police investigations into Mr Grisakovs death found the heater had been poorly installed, meaning that exhaust fumes from the device were blowing into the caravan.

In a statement read to the court, Mr Joda said he had last seen Mr Grisakovs on February 24, when he appeared intoxicated – which was not out of the ordinary for him.

Mr Joda, who worked on the estate, said he would regularly see his friend wandering around close to the caravan.

But the following day, Mr Grisakovs was nowhere to be seen.

On February 25, having grown increasingly concerned, Mr Joda used a screwdriver to gain access to the caravan, where he found Mr Grisakovs collapsed inside.

Jacqueline Lake, Norfolk’s senior coroner, concluded his death was accidental.

She said: “I have heard evidence the caravan he was staying in was in a poor condition and was heated in an unsafe manner which allowed carbon monoxide fumes to blow in and stay inside the caravan.”

The medical cause of Mr Grisakovs’ death was given as carbon monoxide poisoning.

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