A Muslim woman was fighting for life today after her Hijiab headscarf caught fire while she was cooking and engulfed her head in flames.
The 67-year-old victim, who has not been named, suffered severe burns to her face, head and neck after her headscarf accidentally dropped onto a lit gas hob.
The freak accident happened as the woman was cooking in her home in Edward Street, Burton-upon-Trent, Staffs., at 3.30pm on Sunday, September 23.
She was rushed to Burton’s Queen’s Hospital before being transferred to a specialist burn unit at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester and put into a chemically-induced coma.
Yesterday she was said to be in a stable condition.
Despite the severity of the incident, which happened at around 3.30pm, the fire service was not called to the house, though an ambulance did attend.
Inspector Tyrone Kerr, of Staffordshire Police, said: “There was an accident whereby a lady received very serious burns through cooking.
“She had been cooking at her home and her head scarf caught fire and, as a result, she suffered quite serious burns to her face and head.
“An ambulance took her to the burns unit at Wythenshawe.
“She is currently in an induced coma and unfortunately her condition did deteriorate but now she is in a stable condition.
“We are requesting that any witnesses in relation to this incident, although it happened in her home, come forward, and would like anybody to make us aware of what they may have seen leading up to the incident.”
Neighbours of the woman yesterday described her as “a lovely, warm woman”.
One said: “I don’t know her name but she always said hello. She wore a hijab around her head and I believe it was the bottom of the material which caught fire while she cooked.
“There are other rumours flying around but the police aren’t treating it as suspicious.”