A coroner has found that an Irishman died of spontaneous human combustion -- the first ever case of its kind in Ireland.

Michael Faherty, 76, died in his own home and coroner Dr.Kieran Mc Loughlin stated that in his 25 years of inquests he had never come across such a cause of death, the Irish Independent reports.

Faherty’s body was badly burnt but there was absolutely no source for the flames other than spontaneous combustion.

A senior police officer and fire officer said that they had completely ruled out that he had caught fire by any outside means.

A neighbor, Tom Mannion recounted how he had heard a smoke alarm go off in Faherty’s house at about 3am in his neighborhood in Galway City on December 22nd last year.



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When he went to investigate he saw heavy smoke coming from the house. He banged repeatedly on the door but got no answer. He called police and fire services.

Police officer Gerard O'Callaghan said he found Faherty lying on his back in a sitting room, The body had been totally burnt. There was no damage to anywhere else in the house.

The policeman said he had never seen anything like it. Fire Officer Gerry O’Malley also stated he had never seen anything like it and that no fire accelerant or anything else was ever found. Though there was a fire burning in the fireplace he said it was clear it had no connection to the death

The inquest noted that his body had been completely cremated by the fire.

Dr McLoughlin stated: "This fire was thoroughly investigated and I'm left with the conclusion that this fits into the category of spontaneous human combustion, for which there is no adequate explanation."