Dated 23rd September 2011 at 19.34 hours
Spontaneous human combustion (SHC) describes cases of a live human bursting into flames and burning away to a cinder without any external source of ignition.
There have been about 200 cited cases worldwide in the last 300 years but, most of the alleged cases are characterized by the lack of a thorough investigation, or turn out to be hearsay.
In most cases the victim is almost completely consumed by fire, usually inside their home, while little or no damage is done to the property itself!
In more recent cases, where photographic evidence is available, it is often the case that there was an external source of heat present such as cigarettes and no spontaneous ignition really occurred.
Now an Irish coroner Dr Ciaran McLoughlin has ruled that Michael Faherty, 76, died at his home at Clareview Park, Ballybane, and Galway on 22nd December 2010 as a result of spontaneous combustion.
This is the first case of its kind in Ireland
Michael Faherty, was found lying face down near an open fire that had not been lit in his living room in Galway, Ireland.
Apart from his body, investigators could find no other fire damage or source of combustion in the house.