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Norfolk builder dies in roof plunge tragedy

PUBLISHED: 16:00 13 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:40 02 July 2010

David Bale

A Norfolk business community today paid tribute to a company director who tragically died when he fell through a roof.

David Bale

A Norfolk business community today paid tribute to a company director who tragically died when he fell through a roof.

Father-of-three Keith Ragan, 51, from Hilda Brooks Way, New Costessey, was working with his brother at Fitzmaurice Court, on the Valleyside industrial estate in Wymondham, when the tragedy happened.

Mr Ragan was a director with family firm, The Oaktree Partnership, based at Allenbrooks Way, Station Road in Wymondham, which has specialised in building and leasing light industrial and business units for 30 years.

Greater Norfolk Coroner William Armstrong said at yesterday's Norwich inquest that Mr Ragan and his brother Nigel were carrying out repairs at an industrial unit in the town on Tuesday, April 6 when Mr Ragan fell through the roof. He was pronounced dead later that day at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Mr Armstrong said a post mortem examination was carried out and preliminary reports revealed Mr Ragan died from multiple injuries as a result of the fall. The inquest was adjourned to a date to be fixed.

An investigation into the accident has been launched by the Health and Safety Executive and Norfolk police.

Today, business colleagues in Wymondham added their own tributes to Mr Ragan to go alongside those posted by Mr Ragan's family on the death notices pages of the Evening News's sister paper the Eastern Daily Press, on Friday.

Les Daws, owner of Wymondham Freight in Allenbrooks Way, said: “I have known Keith over 30 years and Keith's father built the other end of this industrial estate 40 years ago.

“He was a very nice man to deal with and it's a very sad day. He was still quite a young man and for him to die so tragically by falling through a roof, is very sad.”

Darren Marvill, general manager at Ace Contract Maintenance in Fitzmaurice Court, said Mr Ragan would be “sadly missed”.

Kim Curtis, manager of TG Bodyshop in Allenbrooks Way, said Mr Ragan was his landlord, and added: “He was an absolutely fantastic landlord. It was a great tragedy and he will be sadly missed.”

Tom O'Connor, chief executive of Norfolk Education Business Exchange in Fitzmaurice Court, said the two Ragan brothers were their landlords.

He said: “I knew Keith as our landlord. We have always found the brothers very responsive on every occasion and Keith was an excellent person to do business with.”

The East of England Ambulance Service had been called to Ace Contract Maintenance just after 11am on April 6, a spokeswoman said.

Initial reports said that a man had fallen 30ft onto concrete and had suffered head and arm injuries. Two helicopters were scrambled and Mr Ragan was airlifted to the N&N where he later died, the spokeswoman said.

A Norfolk Constabulary spokeswoman said: “Officers from Norfolk police were called to an incident at Fitzmaurice Court, Valleyside, Wymondham, on Tuesday, April 6, at about 11.15am. The death is not being treated as suspicious.”

A Health and Safety Executive spokesman confirmed its inspectors visited the site shortly after the incident on Tuesday and were investigating jointly with the police.

Mr Ragan's family posted tributes to him in the Eastern Daily Press last week.

His wife Kate said: “To my husband, you were one in a million. Thank you for the wonderful years we shared -Will love you always, Kate.”

His three children Laura, Wayne and Emma added: “To a wonderful dad. The memories of our time together will last forever. We will be thinking of you in everything we do. We are proud that you are our dad.”

Meanwhile, Mr Ragan's brother Nigel said: “A fantastic brother over the last 51 years. Always been my rock and companion for advice and love. So sadly missed. Your memory will live in our hearts forever and your passion to fulfill life to the most.”

Tributes were also left by Mr Ragan's stepchildren Rachel and Tom and their partners Mark and Martine, and brother-in-law Jeanette and nephews Edward and Victoria.

The funeral service will be at Christ Church, Eaton, Norwich on Tuesday, April 27, at 11.30am followed by interment into Norwich City Cemetery.

Family flowers only by request, but if desired, donations made payable to E.A.A.A. (East Anglia Air Ambulance) maybe sent c/o Harveys Funeral Home, Norwich Road, New Costessey, Norwich, NR5 0EA.

Do you wish to pay tribute to Mr Ragan? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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