Possible arson evidence halts inquest into death of Paddock woman Annie Vaseer
Dec 10 2009 by Barry Gibson, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
AN inquest into the death of a Huddersfield grandmother was dramatically halted – after suggestions the blaze may have been deliberate.
The new evidence emerged yesterday as an inquest heard howAnnie Vaseer, 71, died after a fire at her home on Beech Street in Paddock.
West Yorkshire Fire Service believe the blaze was started by a cigarette butt.
But coroner Roger Whittaker adjourned the inquest into Mrs Vaseer’s death yesterday after fresh evidence emerged hinting that the fire was deliberate.
The blaze started in the hallway of Mrs Vaseer’s terraced home around 3pm on May 26.
The retired midwife was rescued by four men who kicked in the door and dragged her on to the street. They doused her in water before an ambulance arrived.
Although severely burned, Mrs Vaseer was still conscious when she was dragged from her home.
All four men who rescued her told Huddersfield Coroners’ Court that she had told them the fire had been started deliberately.
Crosland Moor man Arfan Ahmed said: “She asked me ‘why would someone do this to me?’. She said she heard the letterbox going when she was upstairs in the bathroom.”
Philip Callaghan, of Milnsbridge, spent 15 minutes with Mrs Vaseer as she lay on the street waiting for help.
He said: “She was adamant. She said: ‘Someone’s set fire to my house’. She said that she had received threatening letters and had been to the police about it a week previously.”
However, Peter Crowther of West Yorkshire Fire Service said the most likely cause of the blaze was an unextinguished cigarette butt.