Family still waiting for answers week after blast which killed Clayton-le-Woods father

A week on from the blast which killed 57-year-old father Carl Whalley his family are still waiting for answers.

The blackened site in Kirkby Avenue where Carl Whalley's house stood.
The blackened site in Kirkby Avenue where Carl Whalley's house stood.

Police only officially confirmed that the body found in the wreckage of a semi-detached house in Kirkby Avenue, Clayton-le-Woods near Leyland was Mr Whalley on Wednesday.

And the preliminary results of a post mortem revealed he died from smoke inhalation and burns.

But the cause of the fireball which engulfed the house has still not been identified.

Floral tributes have been left on the corner of Kirkby Avenue in memory of Carl Whalley.

And both the police and the fire service say their joint investigation into the events of last Friday afternoon is still ongoing.

Mr Whalley's brother Dan told the Lancashire Post the family are "broken" by the events a week ago.

"We were told on Wednesday that the body found in the house has been confirmed to be that of Carl," he said.

"They (police) had been waiting for test results before 100 per cent confirmation and that was only completed on Wednesday.

"All we know is the investigation into the cause of the explosion is still ongoing.

"Just imagine, if you can. Our family are broken, never to be fixed."

The dormer bungalow in Kirkby Avenue was completely destroyed in the blast. Today the site is fenced off, with only a pile of charred rubble remaining between Mr Whalley's detached garage and the other semi-detached house next door.

At the entrance to the road floral tributes have been left bearing heartfelt messages of sympathy for a man who was described by people living in the area as "a good bloke."

Police have confirmed that they are looking into reports of a neighbour dispute as part of their investigation into the incident.

Lancashire Constabulary has also referred the matter to the police watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct after admitting officers had spoken to Mr Whalley about his claims of a vendetta.

By law one of the reasons a police force must refer itself to the IOPC is: "If someone had direct or indirect contact with the police when, or shortly before, they were seriously injured or died."

The Lancashire Coroner is expected to formally open and adjourn an inquest into Mr Whalley's death next week.