AN ELDERLY woman died in a fire that destroyed her home — which was not fitted with smoke alarms.

An inquest into the death of Mary Anne O'Carolan, 69, was held at the Isle of Wight Coroner's Court today (Thursday).

It heard her wooden-framed home at Porchfield Road, between Porchfield and Newtown, burnt to the ground on December 12, 2018.

Firefighters from Ryde, Newport and Freshwater extinguished the blaze shortly after 11pm, but it had ripped through the timber building with Mrs O'Carolan inside.

Due to the extent of the damage, the cause of the fire could not be determined.

Mrs O'Carolan, who suffered severe burns and smoke inhalation, had to be identified by her DNA.

Her three sons, John, Patrick and Michael, told the inquest their mother had an alcohol problem when she was younger, and although she had stopped drinking for 20 years she had relapsed prior to the fire.

Her GP said Mrs O'Carolan was lonely following the death of her partner five years previously.

Dr George Thompson told the inquest: "She had a history of depression, as well as severe anxiety throughout her life.

"She lived alone in an isolated cottage in Porchfield. All her family had moved to the mainland.

"She once said she was just waiting for God to come and take her away."

Fire investigator David Lock said: "There was nothing left of the building. All of the wooden walls had collapsed.

"Due to the complete destruction of the property, it became impossible to tell what objects in the home were.

"It was nearly 30 minutes between her neighbours hearing the sounds of popping coming from her home, and noticing the actual fire, at which point it had taken hold.

"This was likely because she didn't have a smoke detector in the house."

Isle of Wight Coroner Caroline Sumeray concluded Mrs O'Carolan's death was an accident.

Don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.