THE blaze which killed a retired midwife in her Paddock home was not deliberate, a coroner has ruled.
The inquest into the death of Annie Vaseer was halted last December following new claims that the fire was started on purpose.
But yesterday coroner Roger Whittaker found that Mrs Vaseer’s death was accidental, after he heard there was no evidence of foul play.
Following the Huddersfield hearing her family members said they were satisfied with the long-awaited verdict and paid tribute to the much-loved grandma.
Her niece Dr Jayne Hawkins said: “I think it was a tragic accident and I’m satisfied that the police have done a thorough investigation.
“She lived in a mainly Asian community, was well-liked and had no problems with anyone.”
Mrs Vaseer, known to friends and family as Anne, spent years as a midwife and delivered more than 1,000 babies at Huddersfield hospitals.
The inquest had heard that the 71-year-old died from injuries after a fire ripped through her terraced house on Beech Street.
The blaze started the hallway of the property on May 26.
Mrs Vaseer was rescued by four men who kicked in the door and dragged her still conscious on to the street.
The widow was taken to Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield suffering 54% burns to her body, but sadly she died on June 1 after four operations.
West Yorkshire Fire Service said they believed the blaze was started by an unextinguished cigarette butt.
But her rescuers said Mrs Vaseer told them the fire had been deliberate.
Philip Callaghan said: “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.”
Mr Whittaker adjourned the inquest to give police time to investigate the fresh evidence.
But police told the hearing at Huddersfield Coroners’ Court there was nothing suggesting anyone had wanted to harm Mrs Vaseer.
Det Insp Andy Garnett, from Kirklees CID, said: “I’ve examined the diary and writings of Mrs Vaseer. I found nothing in these documents which led me to believe that there were suspicious circumstances or Mrs Vaseer was a victim of harassment.
“There’s nothing to suggest Mrs Vaseer contacted the police in response to harassment or disorder around where she lived.”
Mr Whittaker said he was satisfied that Mrs Vaseer’s death was accidental.
He said: “I’m satisfied that there are no suspicious circumstances nor third party involvement.
“In my view this was an accidental ignition caused by a carelessly discarded cigarette by a person who had consumed quite a large amount of alcohol.
“This was a tragic accident and I’m sure it will take (the family) a long time to get over what’s happened.”
Speaking to the Examiner members of Mrs Vaseer’s family paid tribute to her community spirit as well as the team of ‘heroes’ who battled to save her.
Her sister Margaret Hawkins said: “She was a well-respected member of her community and used to teach English to some of the children of the families who lived there.
“She was very family orientated and a very dedicated midwife.
“We would like to thank the people who came to her help during the fire, they were heroes and did their best to help her and preserve her dignity in this very tragic incident.”