Police: House collapse in which man died was 'not suspicious'

The body of Carl Whalley, 57, was found in the debris of his home in Chorley in October

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The death of a man whose body was found after a house collapsed was not suspicious, a police investigation has found.

The body of Carl Whalley, 57, was found in the debris of his home in Clayton-le-Woods, Chorley, Lancashire, on Friday October 15 after it collapsed after a fire.

Lancashire Police had been looking into suggestions of a “neighbour dispute” but on Wednesday the force said there was no evidence of third-party involvement.

Carl Whalley, 57, who died when a house collapsed in a fire in Clayton-le-Woods, Chorley, Lancashire.
Carl Whalley, 57, who died when a house collapsed in a fire in Clayton-le-Woods, Chorley, Lancashire.

A spokesman said: “We have now completed our investigation which, as I’m sure you can understand, involved some really complex and meticulous work and we have concluded that there were no suspicious circumstances and no evidence of any third-party involvement.

“Mr Whalley’s family have been informed and our thoughts remain with them at this difficult time.

“The matter will now be referred to HM Coroner and will proceed to an inquest.”

A post-mortem found Mr Whalley died of smoke inhalation and burns, the force said.

The Lancashire Post had reported that Mr Whalley contacted the newspaper in 2017 and claimed a man had threatened to firebomb his home.

Emergency services were called to reports of a house fire in Kirkby Avenue at 1.20pm on October 15.

The house collapsed around the time crews arrived.

Firefighters put out the blaze, which had spread to the property next door, and specialist urban search and rescue teams were deployed to search for casualties.