Coroner declares Irishman killed by spontaneous human combustion

An inquest into the death of a 76-year-old man found that he did, indeed, burst into flame of his own accord, marking the first recorded case of such a phenomenon on Irish soil.

After it became clear that no one else was in the room with Michael Faherty when he died and no accelerant was found on or near the body, a West Galway coroner has declared that the cause of death was, indeed, spontaneous combustion.

According to Ireland's Independent newspaper:

The inquest heard that the smoke alarm in the home of Mr. Faherty's neighbour, Tom Mannion, had gone off at about 3am on December 22 last year.

In his deposition, Mr. Mannion said he went outside and saw heavy smoke coming from Mr Faherty's house.... He banged on the front door, but got no response and then banged on the door of another neighbor. Gardai [Ireland's national police force] and the fire brigade arrived quickly on the scene.

Garda Gerard O'Callaghan said he had gone to the house after the fire had been extinguished and found Mr. Faherty lying on his back in a sitting room, with his head closest to an open fireplace.

While a fire had been burning in the fireplace in the home, the coroner ruled that the fire was not the cause of death.

Sounds like a case for Fringe Division.

(via The Independent)