Wallasey flat fire death woman named as Bernadette Keating
THE woman killed in a flat fire on Brighton Street in Wallasey last week has been named as Bernadette Keating.
Police were called to the second-floor property above Beryls, a general store, in the early hours of Saturday July 18 where the badly burned body of a woman was discovered.
The property was sealed for a day and a half as investigators searched the building for clues.
The body was eventually carried out at around 3pm on Sunday.
It is thought the blaze started accidentally, possibly due to a lit cigarette or electrical fault, but so far investigations by Merseyside Fire Service have proved inconclusive.
Those investigations are continuing and arson has been ruled out by police.
Neighbours said two men who live in a flat below found the woman when they arrived home.
Jack Brown, 82, who lives nearby, saw smoke billowing from the upstairs flat and called 999. He said: “I heard a bang and the sound of a person crying out.
“I telephoned the fire service straight away.”
Residents said the woman could sometimes be seen standing at the front door of the shop smoking a cigarette.
Her body is now in the hands of the coroner and efforts to track down any next of kin had been unsuccessful at the time of going to press.
Ms Keating was thought to have been in her early 40s and was said to have only lived in the flat since November.
The coroner could not confirm her age as efforts are still being made to trace next of kin.
Plans were in place to open the inquest into her death yesterday afternoon and, although she has been named by police, this was dependent on a positive identification by someone close to the deceased Wallasey News