A YOUNG couple died in a fire started accidentally when a wound cable reel overheated, an inquest heard.

The fire service said the origin of the fire, in which Joshua Kirk and Tazmin Pugh died, was caused by localised heating of the electric cable reel.

Metal sheeting in the wall meant there was a lack of ventilation and the wood chip in the wall led to the fire spreading.

The inquest also heard the couple were experiencing the effects of recreational drugs "which may well have affected their ability to react to the fire" coroner David Reid said at the inquest yesterday.

The couple were living together in a converted barn at Joshua's parents address in Cotheridge.

Coroner David Reid said: "Both of them were young people full of promise. Joshua had done an engineering apprenticeship and had begun working again. Tazmin had been an elite swimmer winning championships and medals at the Commonwealth Youth Games."

Joshua, of Worcester, was 21 and Tazmin, from Pershore, was 18 when they died in the fire on October 28, 2018.

Following an injury in 2017 Tazmin's involvement in swimming began to drop off. She met Joshua and they began a relationship. They started living together towards the end of 2017.

Mr Reid said: "Both of them got involved in a lifestyle that involved weekend parties and recreational drugs."

The coroner paused to make it clear that he had not mentioned the couple's drug use to pass judgement on them, but had mentioned it as it was relevant to what happened.

Tazmin and Josh had been at a party in Wales and on the afternoon of October 28, they were back at the barn.

A neighbour called the fire brigade around 8:01pm, after attempting to extinguish the fire himself.

The fire was by this point described as "well developed."

Mr Reid said: "It is likely that Tazmin and Josh had died well before the fire had reached that stage."

Mr Reid said samples taken from each of them showed they had taken the drugs Fenazepan, Amphetamine and Ketamine, most likely the day before the fire. "Most significant was the amount of carboxyhemoglobin Mr Reid said. Carboxyhemoglobin is found in the body when carbon monoxide is breathed in.

The coroner continued: "The development of the fire was increased by the significant amount of metal sheeting in the walls."

They were found on the bed and there was no indication that they had made any attempt to move from the bed, suggesting they weren't aware of the fire.

The inquest heard that it only takes a few lungfuls of carbon monoxide for a person to become unconscious.

Mr Reid concluded by saying "The cause of death given in this case is one, the affects of the fire and two, mixed drug induction."

Mr Reid offer his condolences to the families of the victims for their "terrible loss."

He returned a verdict of accidental death.