Skeptics News: Irish man spontaneously combusts

Michael Faherty, 76, died at his home at Clareview Park, Ballybane, Galway on 22 December 2010. His death has ignited news interest due to it’s cause as the coroner declared at an inquest in Galway yesterday that Faherty spontaneously combusted.

Initially investigators had been baffled as to the cause of the fire that led to his death. They found a fire in the sitting rooms fireplace

Forensic experts found a fire in the fireplace of the sitting room where the badly burnt body was found had not been the cause of the blaze that killed Mr Faherty.  His body had been found on his back with his head closest to an open fireplace. The fire was confined to the sitting room and the only damage was to his body and the floor below and ceiling above it. No traces of any accelerant were discovered and nothing to suggest that there was any foul play.

In the absence of any other explanation the coroner 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”

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