Father of Four Dies Due to Acute Alcohol Intoxication

A father of four died after his home became engulfed in flames. The cause of death was acute intoxication due to alcohol abuse and smoke inhalation. Marcus Dack, who had previously worked for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue, had more than three times the legal limit for drink driving in his blood when he died. The limit is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood but Mr Dack’s level was 381mg.

Alcohol Addiction

Mr Dack had been suffering from alcohol addiction for a number of years and, as a result, had been suffering from depression. Just two weeks before his death, he had been dismissed from his IT maintenance job with the Exeter Fire Service.

The coroner ruled a verdict of accidental death but admitted that she had ‘many doubts’ in relation to the circumstances that caused the fire. She could not say if the fire had been started by accident or deliberately.


Mr Dack had previously attended a residential programme to tackle his alcohol problem but had resumed drinking as soon as the programme had finished. Mr Dack’s call to the fire services came when the fire was already quite intense, according to fire investigator Andrew Justice. He said he cannot explain why Mr Dack did not attempt to escape earlier and said that the smoke alarms would have been activated before the flames took hold.


Eleven minutes after Mr Dack’s call, two fire crews arrived and they described the fire as ‘severe’ and ‘intense’. On entering the property, they found Mr Dack’s lifeless body in a bedroom on the upper floor. He could not be resuscitated.

The fire began in the living room downstairs but there was very little evidence left. Investigators could not confirm Mr Dack’s claims that he may have dropped a cigarette, which started the fire, as there was no evidence of any smoking materials found.

However, a neighbour claims he saw Mr Dack speaking in a calm manner on the phone in the bedroom despite the fact that the bottom floor of the house was in flames. Coroner Lydia Brown said that the amount of alcohol in Mr Dack’s system would have made his reaction times slower and could have impaired his decision-making. She also said that there was no evidence that suicide was the cause.

The Side Effects of Alcohol Addiction

Drinking alcohol in moderation is considered safe and is a sociable activity. However, for some people alcohol can become a problem and a major part of their lives. Mr Dack’s addiction to alcohol had affected him for a number of years, and he found it difficult to quit. It led to his depression and it may have been a factor in his premature death.

There are a number of other side effects of alcohol addiction, both physical and mental. Short-term side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, slurred speech, headaches, drowsiness, impaired judgement blackouts, distorted vision, and even unconsciousness.

Long-term side effects are what usually affect those that have become dependent on alcohol and many can be dangerous. They include injury, family problems, liver disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, alcohol poisoning, nerve damage, ulcers, and some cancers.

Getting Help for Alcohol Dependence

If you are suffering from alcohol problems or if a loved one needs help, Addiction Helper is here to provide you with advice and information on the treatments available as well as where to get that treatment. We have a team of expert counsellors and advisors waiting to take your call. They will listen to you and will begin working on your behalf immediately. Call today for a free assessment and referral.

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