AN INQUEST was opened yesterday into the death of a 77-year-old woman who died in a house fire.

Valerie Ann James, a widowed nursing aids officer who lived alone, died on Saturday at her home in Green Lane, Woodstock.

She was identified using medical records. The cause of death was given as severe burns.

Oxfordshire Coroner Darren Salter said: “Neighbours across the street noticed the house fire at approximately 1am and dialled 999 to request the fire service. The flames were 10ft above the chimney.”

He added that the body of Mrs James was found in the living room later the same day once the fire had been extinguished.

The inquest was adjourned.