A BLIND Milford Haven man, who died after being overwhelmed by smoke from a fire caused by a cigarette, may have suffered a medical emergency, an inquest heard.

Bryan Thomas Manntripp, aged 79, of 4 Stone Court, was found at his home on March 25.

Mr Manntripp, who had previously worked at the town’s Lord Nelson Hotel with his then-partner, lived alone and was fiercely independent, Coroners Officer for Dyfed-Powys Police Jeremy Davies told the September 19 inquest.

Mr Manntripp, who had lost his sight, was a heavy smoker, who had suffered a stroke some 12 years previously, the inquest heard.

At 7.45am on March 25, a neighbour noticed smoke coming from Mr Manntripp’s home, attending with another neighbour.

After opening the door, no sign of Mr Manntripp was seen, the lounge door was forced open, but the neighbour was forced back by a cloud of acrid smoke.

They returned with a dampened tea towel to enter, by which time firefighters had arrived.

Mr Manntripp was found behind the lounge door, and it was believed rigor mortis had already set in, the inquest heard.

Other emergency services were called and Mr Manntripp was formally declared to have passed away at 9.40am that day.

A post-mortem report by Dr John Murphy said Mr Manntripp had died from a combination of burns, being overwhelmed by smoke, and a possible chronic obstructive airways disease.

A report by Craig Thomas of Mid and West Wales Fire Service said the fire was caused by a discarded cigarette on a chair in the living room, with smoke damage throughout the property.

Reaching a conclusion of an accidental death, HM Coroner for Pembrokeshire Mark Layton told family members present: “It may be the case your late father suffered some type of medical emergency.”

He added the report suggested a domestic fire may have led to his death.