Spanish grandmother forced to use candles for light dies after mattress catches fire

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ENERGY prices in Spain have increased dramatically in recent years and the death of an 81-year-old woman has become a potent symbol of public outrage.

The grandmother died from smoke inhalation on Sunday evening after her mattress caught fire from one of the candles she used for light. 

The incident occurred in the Catalan town of Reus and local authorities are now looking to take Gas Natural to court for failing to warn them they had cut off her electricity supply so they could help her with emergency aid.

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Gas Natural cut off all power to the home two months ago over lack of payment and claim ignorance of her financial situation. 

The case has highlighted the severe problem of energy poverty across Spain which is believed to affect up to seven million people.

Electricity prices have risen a huge 56 per cent in the past nine years, while water and gas are also vastly more expensive.

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