Former firefighter Bert Goodship died from burns to his body after his clothing caught alight in his own kitchen.

An inquest at Trowbridge Town Hall yesterday heard Mr Goodship, 85, of Elcombe Gardens, Devizes, died at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol the day after the incident on June 18, 2009.

Coroner David Ridley read from a statement by Mr Goodship’s partner of 13 years, Ruth Crudge.

In it she said Mr Goodship had gone to make porridge for her in the kitchen of their home in at around 9.40am when she heard a crash and then moaning.

Mr Ridley said: “She heard a crash from the kitchen area after a few minutes and assumed he had dropped something, but then heard a moaning noise Bert was making.

“Bert was crashed down leaning into the kitchen units and she could see flames coming from his clothing and his shirt was alight. She grabbed the saucepan, filled it with water and extinguished the flames.”

Mr Goodship had been conscious and talking after his ordeal. He was flown by air ambulance to hospital for treatment.

Evidence from the post mortem examination showed Mr Goodship had died from the burns afflicted to his body. Mr Ridley recorded a verdict of accidental death.

He said: “At some point he leaned too far over the gas hob causing his shirt to catch alight.”

The retired firefighter and Mrs Crudge were members of the Crown Centre in Devizes and Kennet Friendship Circle.

Mr Goodship was born in Holt and went to school in Trowbridge.

He joined Wiltshire Fire Brigade in 1949 and worked at Trowbridge Fire Station.