A RETIRED secretary may have died trying to save her two dogs from a fire which engulfed her detached bungalow.
Jennifer Moores, 66, of Frida Crescent, Northwich, died on January 31 when a fire started in her living room and spread through the home.
At the inquest at Crewe, the deputy coroner for Cheshire Dr Janet Napier heard evidence from assistant fire investigator Les Spencer. He said the blaze may have been caused by a stray coal or ember falling from the fire in the living room.
Firefighters were called to the scene after neighbour David Cooper noticed smoke billowing out of the house.
Fire crews arrived about 10.30am to find the bungalow burning. They tried to gain access through the front door which appeared to be blocked.
Eventually, after applying bodily pressure they entered. Mrs Moores's body was discovered in the hallway near to the front door. The bodies of her two dogs were later found in the bedroom and living room.
The inquest heard that the ceiling in the living room was made of flammable fibre boards which may have contributed to the rapid spread of the flames.
Mr Spencer said it was also likely that Mrs Moores, who was alive when the fire started, attempted to rescue her two pet dogs from the flames and smoke before eventually succumbing herself.
The investigation team found no suspicious evidence at the scene to suggest the fire was caused by anything other than an accident.
Mrs Moores died from inhalation of fumes, and burns.
Verdict: Accidental death.