THE family of a “caring and funny” man who was killed in a house blast after a fire believe the blaze may have been an arson attack.
Dan Whalley, the brother of Carl Whalley, 57, who died when his home collapsed, said he believed the fire was started deliberately after a petrol can was found in the home.
Dan said investigators had found a "melted plastic petrol can" behind the front door of the house in Clayton-le-Woods, Lancashire, where his brother died.
He also claimed that fire investigators had found accelerant on curtains in a downstairs room and revealed Carl was upstairs at the time of the explosion and fire.
Dan said: "An accelerant, such as petrol, was found on the curtains and in the room downstairs. A melted plastic petrol can was found behind the front door."
Carl's body was found in the wreckage of the dormer bungalow after an explosion and fireball levelled the house on October 15.
Cops are looking into claims made by Carl about a long-running dispute with a neighbour, which had been going on for several years.
Carl had reportedly complained to the police on a number of occasions about the behaviour of the neighbour.
And he had contacted his local newspaper two years ago, saying he felt officers were "not listening" to his concerns.
Carl claimed he told police about the firebomb threat in 2017 and it was arranged for fire safety equipment to be fitted in his home.
In October 2017, following the firebomb threat, Lancashire Police wrote to his MP, Lindsay Hoyle.
In the letter, seen by Sun Online, Superintendent Mark Winstaley said: “With respect to the threats to firebomb Mr Whalley’s house, this matter was investigated.
“However, there was insufficient evidence of intent to support a prosecution.
“Police and Lancashire Fire Service ensured that action was taken to reassure Mr Whalley and his family as opposed to any belief there was a credible threat that the property would be attacked in such a manner.”
Lancashire has said it had been referred to police watchdog the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) "due to the fact officers had contact with the occupant prior to the incident”.
Carl's heartbroken family says they are still waiting for answers from a joint police and fire service investigation into the explosion.
But his brother Dan claimed the new details had come to light relating to the cause of the explosion.
Family members attended a "beautiful" funeral service for Carl recently and had later laid flowers at the site of the explosion.
Dan said: "It was the worst day of my life.
"But the ceremony was beautiful, and he was surrounded by friends and family on a bright, sunny day.
A melted plastic petrol can was found behind the front door
"After the ceremony, we placed some of the flowers at Kirkby Avenue."
After Carl's death, his daughter Charlotte said: "Everything I do in my life, I do to make my Mum and Dad proud.
"I want to carry on in my Dad's footsteps and make sure that his legacy lives on forever.
"He taught me everything I know, and my life will never be the same without him."
The Sun Online has contacted Lancashire Police and Lancashire Fire and Rescue for comment.
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