RUMOURS that circulated at the funeral of chip-pan fire victim Wayne Fletcher caused police to launch an investigation into his death.

But an inquest heard that although a person had been arrested and interviewed in connection with the incident, the police were eventually satisfied that no one else was involved.

Mr Fletcher, 30, was rescued by fire-fighters from his smoke-filled bedsit in Benson Street, Little Harwood, and after being rushed to hospital appeared to be making a recovery. But he unexpectedly collapsed and was later found to have died of shock lung, a condition caused by the inhalation of the products of combustion.

Coroner Michael Singleton, who recorded a verdict of accidental death, said the prompt actions of neighbour Stephen Mawdsley, had at first seemed likely to save Mr Fletcher's life.

"The fire brigade were contacted quickly but Mr Mawdsley and as a result Mr Fletcher was recovered alive." said Mr Singleton. "Shock lung is an unfortunate side-effect that people sometimes suffer."

The inquest was told that smoke detectors had been installed in all four bedsits in the house and in the communal hallways but the one in Mr Fletcher's room had been removed - probably by himself. He had previously set the alarm off when cooking food and only three weeks before his death a chip-pan fire in his bedsit had activated the alarm in the hallway.