A NURSE died after barricading himself in and setting fire to his flat.

Alan Karl Phillips was drunk and had been suffering from depression when he moved a wardrobe against the front door before setting it alight at his Brighton home, an inquest heard.

The inquest at Brighton Coroner’s court found the 45-year-old died from cardiac arrest due to existing heart disease with contributory effects of smoke inhalation at levels not usually considered fatal.

Mr Phillips was a a senior sexual health nurse at the Claude Nicol Clinic in Eastern Road, Brighton.

Hundreds of people attended his funeral at Woodvale Cemetery.

His body was removed from his flat in Upper St James’s Street by three Sussex Fire and Rescue Service crews shortly after they were called to the scene by a passer-by at 1.49am on July 2, 2016.

Paramedics arrived at his home in Upper St James’s Street at 2.07am on July 2 last year and, with firefighters, battled to get inside. Mr Phillips was pronounced dead at the scene at 2.52am.

Veronica Hamilton-Deeley, senior coroner for Brighton and Hove, said: “This was clearly no accident based on the evidence we have heard and I am satisfied that Mr Phillips started the fire intentionally but I cannot reasonably conclude that he took his own life due to the cause of his death being fundamentally linked to his heart disease.

“Due to the fact that he moved a wardrobe to barricade the front door to the flat as well as there being cushions, wooden drawers and a section of a sofa placed in and around the empty fireplace where a fire was then made, I can deduce that the fire was caused deliberately.”

The inquest found that Mr Phillips had blocked the front door with a wardrobe and all the furniture he moved was the most damaged, signalling that the wardrobe and fireplace were the two points where the fire was started.

Dr David Wright, consultant and pathologist at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, said: “There was evidence of smoke inhalation but not of fatal levels and skin blistering to his left arm and shoulder, however the cause of his death was due to cardiac arrest which is most likely a result of the heart disease that he suffered from.

“We saw that the main chamber of his heart had become very much enlarged and he was not sober at the time of death as our tests have shown to be the case.”

Mr Phillips, who was born in Newport, South Wales, had also been diagnosed with emotionally unstable personality disorder and was taking various prescription medications in the lead up to his death.

Richard Moon, fire investigation officer for East Sussex Fire and Rescue Services, said: “The body was found on a chair by a computer desk in the first room we entered and the fire was likely started anywhere between five and 15 minutes before we received the initial emergency call.”