CONTRACTORS desperately attempted to search a burning house in Poole where the body of a 77-year-old man was later discovered, an inquest has heard.

On Thursday, July 26 Dr Sheriff Payne opened and adjourned the inquest into the death of Graham Cox, whose body was found following a severe fire at his home in Pearce Avenue, Lilliput.

On Wednesday, July 9, seven fire crews were called to the property, which sits a close distance to the yacht club and overlooks the northern shore of Poole Harbour.

Coroner’s officer Alan Young told the court contractors, who were working on a pontoon nearby, rushed to the house after they smelt smoke and saw flames coming from the roof of the building.

Mr Young said: “They entered the property and made efforts to search the house despite the severity of the fire. They were eventually forced to retreat.”

Firefighters later discovered Mr Cox lying on his back on a bed in an upstairs bedroom of the house.

The pensioner’s body was identified by DNA tests, the court was told. Dr Simon Rasbridge, consultant pathologist at Royal Bournemouth Hospital, reported the cause of his death as unascertained pending toxicology and histology tests.

Mr Young said Dorset Fire and Rescue Service and Dorset Police are continuing their investigations into the blaze.

Following the fire, Inspector Ian Jarred from Dorset Police said the death was not being treated as suspicious. The inquest was adjourned until October to enable further enquiries to be made.