A GRANDFATHER died in a fire at his family home despite his grandson’s desperate attempts to save him, an inquest heard.

Invalid Brent Mason could not leave his bed when the blaze began in his downstairs bedroom at the house in The Drove, Calmore.

Courageous grandson Brett, 17, ran into the room and briefly managed to grab his hand but was forced back by waist-high flames and thick smoke.

The inquest in Winchester heard how Mr Mason would have died quickly in the fire on the morning of August 5 this year.

Police and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service are still conducting tests on the electric motor of the hospital bed he was sleeping on in an attempt to pinpoint the cause of the blaze.

Firefighters arrived at the scene nine minutes after receiving the first 999 call, immediately spraying water into Mr Mason’s room.

But when they were able to enter the room, they found that he had died.

Mr Mason's widow Elizabeth told the inquest how she had been asleep in an upstairs bedroom with her great-grandson Buster when she was woken by the smoke alarms going off.

“I jumped straight out of bed as soon as I heard them,” she said. “As I ran downstairs, the smoke was coming up to meet me.

“I didn’t go into Brent’s room, there was too much smoke.”

Mrs Mason and young family members ran from the house.

“By then the windows were popping, it was all so fast. It just happened in minutes,”

she added.

The inquest heard that Mr Mason could not leave his bed after suffering a brain haemorrhage and a series of strokes in recent years.

Eleven members of the family were living at the home at the time of the fire, but most had left for work by the time it broke out.

Recording an accidental death verdict, senior central Hampshire coroner Grahame Short said: “It must have been a terrible way to die and my heart goes out to his family.

“On the balance I’m more inclined to view this as a result of an electrical failure of some kind involving the bed pump or motor.”