A VERDICT of accidental death was recorded at the inquest of a pensioner who died following a fire at his home in St Mary’s Park earlier this year.
Frank Allen, 73, died following the fire which broke out in a downstairs room of the terraced house at St Munchin’s Street shortly before 11pm on March 6 last.
At Limerick Coroner’s Court, Garda Donncha Coakley said he was alerted to the fire when he saw a lot of smoke over the St Mary’s Park estate.
He said when he arrived he tried to enter the house along with a number of local residents but that they were “driven back” by the flames.
A number of neighbours described how they were also unable to gain access to the house due to the intensity of the fire.
The inquest was told the badly-burned body of the deceased man was found in a downstairs room after the fire was put out by members of the fire service.
Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Khalib Jabar, said Mr Allen died as a result of smoke inhalation.
He said the levels of carbon monoxide in his system was more than four times the toxic level and he said his body was severely burned.
Dr Jabar said the concentration of alcohol in Mr Allen’s blood was high and that he would have been close to twice the level of acute intoxication.
The jury was told by garda Coakley, that a pathologist based at the Mid Western Regional Hospital had conducted an earlier post-mortem but that the services of Dr Jabar were requested to alleviate the concerns of local residents as there had been another “suspicious death” in St Mary’s Park around the same time.
However, garda Coakley said gardai were satisfied there was no foul play and he said there was no evidence of any forced entry to Mr Allen’s home.
Following brief deliberations, the jury of four men and one woman returned a verdict of accidental death.