Barrow woman dies in house blaze: inquest opens

Scene of the fatal house fire on Whalley Road in Barrow.
Scene of the fatal house fire on Whalley Road in Barrow.

An inquest has been opened and adjourned into the death of an elderly Barrow woman who died after getting trapped in a house fire.

Mrs Nellie Shaw (86) was killed when a ferocious fire tore through her large detached house, in Whalley Road, at 5-20 am on Tuesday (March 3rd).

Her husband, Philip, who managed to escape the blaze, was taken to hospital after suffering from smoke inhalation.

Police and fire crews from Clitheroe, Hyndburn, Padiham and Great Harwood were called to Barrow Gardens Farm after reports of a “severe” blaze. On arrival both floors were well alight and it took firefighters more than three hours to extinguish the fire and a further extensive search before Mrs Shaw’s body was found.

An inquest into Mrs Shaw’s death was opened this afternoon and has been adjourned until April 23rd.

Since the tragedy, tributes have been pouring in from family, friends and local residents who remember Mrs Shaw as a “kind” and “well-liked” person. It has also emerged that Mr and Mrs Shaw ran a popular fish and chip shop in Rishton during the 1970s and ’80s. One of our readers, who grew up in Rishton, has fond memories of visiting the Shaws at their always busy chippy at 90 High Street. She described them as nice and kind people who often served children “free scraps”.

She said: “The chippy was always busy with people queuing down the street. The couple later sold the business, which became a Chinese takeaway.

Valerie Swindells posted on Facebook: “Happy memories of my Aunty Nellie’s chip shop. My family left Rishton in 1950s. All my cousins where brought up living at the chip shop until they all moved to live and work aboard. 0n retirement they moved to Clitheroe and had happy times there till last Tuesday when a fire took my Aunty Nellie’s life.”