An elderly man died trying to put out a blaze in his flat caused by a heater used to keep two dogs warm. Scott Dotterer, 67, was overcome by fumes as he tackled the flames with a fire extinguisher while his wife, Gloria, led the pets to safety. The blaze broke out in the couple's 20th-floor flat in Conduit Road, Mid-Levels, an inquest was told. Maid Priscilla San Juan told the hearing she switched on the heater for the dogs in a cloakroom during winter. On December 14 last year, she repeated this before going out at 6 am to church, leaving the Dotterers asleep. The couple were awoken by a fire alarm and the elderly man rushed out of the bedroom to find the cloakroom on fire. Mrs Dotterer said her husband, who had chronic heart problems, grabbed an extinguisher and tried to douse the flames, while she took the two dogs on to the roof before returning to the flat. 'I was behind a curtain in the dining room. I cried 'come out, come out' but the fumes just came too fast,' Mrs Dotterer said. Dotterer was certified dead at Queen Mary Hospital. He died from inhalation of fumes, the inquest was told. Engineer Y. M. Chan, of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, said he could not be sure of the cause of the blaze since the heater and other items in the room were badly damaged. He suggested the fire could have been caused by the electrical appliance overheating or by it setting alight clothes hanging in the cloakroom. There was also a chance the blaze may have ignited in the extension unit connecting the heater to the wall socket. Coroner Rodney Venning returned a verdict of accidental death.