Police investigating fireball death of Mayo man, 70, in Tottenham

London police investigating mystery fireball death Mayo man Tottenham
John Nolan. Picture supplied by family

Police in London are appealing for information after an Irish pensioner passed away as a result of severe burn injuries after being found on fire close to his Tottenham home.

John Nolan, 70, originally from Mayo, passed away in hospital last Monday after sustaining serious injuries while out walking near his home in Haringey in North London.

London Met Police and fire services say they were called to Williams House, Orchard Place, at about 1pm on Sunday afternoon following reports of a fire.

They found John ablaze on the street and acted quickly to extinguish the fire, but due to serious burn injuries he was taken to the specialist Colchester Hospital by London Air Ambulance with serious burn injuries.

He died the following day at a specialist burns hospital in Essex when life support was turned off.

London police investigating mystery fireball death Mayo man Tottenham
John Nolan. Pictured supplied by family

He had suffered third degree burns over 65 per cent of his body and never regained consciousness.

Police said they are treating the death as unexplained and no arrests have been made.

His Dublin-based nephew Kevin Byrne has said that he had lived and worked in London since the mid 1960s and had been planning to go and watch Mayo play in the All-Ireland final last weekend.

Police said that enquiries are still ongoing to establish the circumstances of John’s death.

 Kind and gentle man

His sister Mary Caffery has also appealed for information over the death of her brother, a “kind and gentle man”.

Mary Caffery, 72, a retired NHS hospital PA, who lives in Muswell Hill, said her brother was “completely unrecognisable” when she visited him in hospital due to the severity of his injuries.

“It’s unbearable, an awful thing to happen…we’re very concerned and would like to get to the bottom of what happened.”

John was at home at his flat in Tottenham with his brother Jimmy on Sunday morning.

Jimmy left the flat while John was eating breakfast and it is understood that John went out for a walk sometime after 11am.

He was wearing jeans, a t-shirt and a suit jacket.

Police cordons

When his brother Jimmy returned later that afternoon, he found police cordons and emergency services on scene.

John’s family say his walking stick and a key to his flat, which the 70-year-old wore on a chain around his neck, were found with him at the scene.

“John was very well known and very well liked around the area,” said Mary.

“He was a very popular and nice fellow and he was a gentle man. He wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

Anyone with information about the incident should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. You can also tweet information to police via @MetCC.

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